Category Archives: Personal Blog

The noble character of Lakshman

I would like to share with you all, another story which brings out how noble and loyal Lakshman was. When Seeta had been abducted, she had dropped her jewels. When Sugreev asked Ram asked to identify Seeta’s jewels He was not able to do it. Instead He was able to identify the yellow cloth in which the jewels had been wrapped, as Hers. Disappointed, He then passes the jewels to Lakshman asking Him to identify if they were Seeta’s jewels. Lakshman immediately identifies the anklets as Seeta’s. Ram asks Lakshman how He was so sure. To this Lakshman replied that, everyday after having His bath, He used to prostrate Seeta and worship Her. He had only looked at Her feet. During the fourteen years of exile, He had never looked at Her in the face. This was one the reasons that Lakshman could kill Indrajith (also known as Meghnadh), the son of Ravan. There were three conditions which were to be satisfied by a person if he wanted to kill Indrajith. He should not have slept, eaten or looked at a women’s face for fourteen years. Since Lakshman satisfied all these conditions, He was able to kill Indrajith.

sugriva-ram-laxman-going-caves-from-kishkindha
Ram and Lakshman meet Sugreev

The forgotten character in Ramayan

Recently, I was listening to Ramayana being chanted in a temple near my home. The priests were narrating the part where Seeta was arguing with Ram, regarding accompanying Him to the forest during the exile. Finally Ram had to give in. When Seeta and Ram come out, ready to leave for the forest, they find Lakshman waiting outside. He says he would also accompany Him and Ram agrees reluctantly.

That was when it occurred to me that a very important character has been forgotten. Ramayana speaks greatly of how ideal a wife, Sita is. But it never mentions much about Urmila, Lakshman’s wife. Ramayana probably devotes only a stanza or so to her. Seeta atleast got to stay with her husband, and fulfill her duties of staying with her husband during difficult times. But Urmila did not get that privilege. What happens to her, back in the palace is not mentioned in the epic.

When Ram and Seeta decide to go to the forest, despite Lakshman pleading with Him to not take Kaikeyi’s words seriously, Lakshman becomes upset. He decides to accompany them to the forest, and comes to his chamber to inform Urmila about this. Urmila does not insist that she would come to the forest along with him, like Seeta did. Instead, she asks him to take good care of Ram and Seeta and not to think about her. She foresaw that if she went along with Him, He would not be able to devote himself completely to the service of Ram and Seeta. Such is the great sacrifice of Urmila. Lakshman could become the ideal brother only because of Urmila’s sacrifices.

So what did Urmila do during those fourteen years ?

One version says that Urmila slept during the fourteen years that she was away from her husband. Before you misinterpret her, here is what happened. Lakshman was guarding Ram and Seeta at night, lest somebody attack them. Thus, when the Goddess of sleep, Nidra devi approached Him, He asked her to leave Him alone for the next fourteen years so that He could take care of His brother and sister in law, day and night. But as per the rules of nature, someone would have to bear the consequences of His sleepless. Lakshman asked her to inform this to His wife who was in the palace of Ayodhya. When Urmila was told this, she willingly asked that all her husband’s sleep for the next fourteen years be given to her. Hence, she was asleep for the fourteen years that Lakshman was away and during those fourteen years of exile Lakshman did not sleep at all. It was primarily due to this very reason that Lakshman was able to defeat Meganadh, the son of Ravan. Only one who had not slept, eaten or looked at a women’s face for fourteen years could defeat him. Lakshman could do this only due to Urmila’s sacrifice.

indrajit_6241
Lakshman killing Indrajith (Meganadh)

There are many other equally noble characters who have not been given the importance that they should have gotten, for example, Sumitra, Mandavi, Sruthakirthi, Mandothari, etc.. But then again, Ramayana is filled with noble characters. If each character were to be described in detail, the epic would be endless and this would also take the focus away from the main moral, which is the victory of good over evil.

Shankar Mahadevan’s Coke Studio Performance

Here’s another song that I’ve gotten addicted to. Recently, I was listening to Shankar Mahadevan‘s Coke Studio performance. He sang the song “Allah hi Reham” ( from the movie My Name is Khan, originally sung by Rashid Khan). He was composer of the song. I know it’s quite outdated.

When I listened to the song, I was totally bowled over how he’s sung the song. Infact even after listening to the song, his voice is still echoing in my ears. That’s how amazingly he’s sung it. It’s such a complicated composition but he’s sung wonderfully well. Especially the ending part with the swaras in it amazing. While watching the video, one can see how involved he becomes while singing. After a certain point of time, his voice dominates the musical instruments.

Image

All in all, the listening experience was AWESOME !!! I guess I’ll be listening to this song for some days from now because it’s got me addicted to it. This is not the first time that I’m getting addicted to songs. Earlier it was the song Jiya Lage Na from Talash, that had gotten me interested. I got to know about both of these songs through a senior of mine, Sai Vikneshwar, a great music lover. 🙂

You can listen to the song over here.

A song that I like …

Yesterday, I was watching the movie Talaash, starring Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee. While the movie was itself very exciting and kept one on the cliff edge throughout wondering what was going to happen next, according to me, that was not the highlight of that show. The one thing that took away all my attention was the song, “Jiya Lage na”. It’s absolutely amazing !!! I’ve always liked the duo of Ram Sampath and Sona Mahapatra, right from when he used to compose music for the Aamir Khan produced TV show “Satyamev Jayate” and she used to sing the compositions. Some of the other songs for which the duo worked together are “Ghar Yaad Athi Hai”, “Mujhe Kya Bechega Rupaiya” and “Chanda Pe Dance” and for the TV show “Satyamev Jayate”. The male part has been sung Ravindra Upadhyay.

Coming back to this song, I liked everything about this song – the lyrics, the blend of Hindustani and Western flavours, the voice of the male and female singers. Hats off to Javed Akhtar for writing such beautiful lyrics!!! I can’t express how much this song has affected me. Now I’m addicted to it. I can’t stop listening to the song. 😀 . I hope Ram Sampath composes more such amazing songs.

I would like to thank Sai Vikneshwar (a senior of mine, who is crazy about music and films among other things), who asked me to watch the movie because but for him, I would not have had the opportunity to come to know about this song. 🙂

7876579_1347368626_94718

Yanni’s Music

Today, I was listening to music composed by famous musician Yanni .

I usually listen to only Carnatic music or light music, but after listening to this, I must say that it was a totally different experience. I’ve not listened to anything like this in quite sometime. It was extremely soulful. It was as it the composer’s heart was making its way to thousands, or should I say millions of other hearts. It is indeed a great talent that he is able to touch millions of hearts. Absolutely amazing !

This is the composition that I listened to :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIdEagc5-7A&feature=player_embedded

One thing that I liked about Yanni, of course apart from the amazing work he’s done in putting together such a wonderful composition is that inspite of being the great musician that he is, he humbly thanks the musicians. He gives them the credit that they are worth.

As they say “A great man is always willing to be little.” This is a lesson to be learnt from Yanni.

The song that I got addicted to

Once in every two days, I get addicted to a particular song and keep listening to it till I get bored. Recently, I listened to a song that I used to listen a lot during my high school days. When I was watching TV the song was played and it brought back to me old memories. The lyrics of the song is very meaningful and the song is very melodious as well. The song gives me the courage, inspiration and determination to keep going. It’s from the movie Dor which stars Ayesha Takia, Shreyas Talpade and Gul Panag. The song is “Yeh honsla kaise jhuke…”. You can listen to it on Youtube.

The lyrics of the song is as follows :

Yeh Hosla Kaise Juke,
Yeh Aarzoo Kaise Ruke

The determination should not give up
The yearning should not stop

Manzil Muskil To Kya,
Bundla Sahil To Kya,
Tanha Ye Dil To Kya

No matter if the destination is difficult to find
No matter if the shore does not seem clearly
No matter is the heart is lonely

Raah Pe Kante Bikhre Agar,
Uspe To Phir Bhi Chalna Hi Hai,
Saam Chhupale Suraj Magar,
Raat Ko Ek Din Dhalana Hi Hai,

Even if the path is filled with difficulties,
We still have to walk on it
Even if the evening hides the sun of happiness,
The night of grief will definitely pass away

Rut Ye Tal Jayegi,
Himmat Rang Layegi,
Subha Phir Aayegi
Yeh Hosla Kaise Juke,
Yeh Aarzoo Kaise Ruke

This season pf grief will change
Determination will overcome all difficulties
There will be a new dawn

Hogi Hame To Rehmat Ada,
Dhup Kategi Saaye Tale,
Apni Khuda Se Hai Ye Dua,
Manzil Lagale Humko Gale

If kindness will be shown to us,
We shall recieve sunlight even in shade
I pray to God,
That our destination should get us

Zurrat So Baar Rahe,
Uncha Ikraar Rahe,
Zinda Har Pyar Rahe

May the courage remain in every difficulty
May the promise be fulfilled
May the love live long

Yeh Hosla Kaise Juke,
Yeh Aarzoo Kaise Ruke

The lyrics for the song was not translated by me. I just got it from here .

Danushkodi

A few weeks back, my friends and I visited Danushkodi, the southern most tip of India. We first went to Rameshwaram, had bath in all the 22 wells and worshiped Lord Shiva in the temple, and then went to Danushkodi. Danushkodi is a small village in the southernmost part of Rameshwaram island, midway between India and Sri Lanka and is just about 30 km. far from the ‘tear drop’ island(Sri Lanka). It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. Danush means bow and Kodi means the end. This is the place where Lord Rama struck a bow to break the sethu that he built, to rescue his consort Sita from Sri Lanka. The breaking of the sethu(bridge) was done on the request of Vibhishana, the brother of Ravana and ally of Rama. That is how the place got its name.

Danushkodi in all its glory

This is the place where the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet. It is a spectacular sight to see. One part of the water body is quite calm and serene whereas the other part is full of energy and spirit. The difference can literally be seen. The beach here is very beautiful as is everywhere else in the world. Here also one can see the typical white and turquoise blue colour combination(white coloured sand and turquoise blue coloured water) just as in most of the beaches around the world. But what makes the Danushkodi beach different from the rest of the beaches is that, there is one particular point in the island(you can see that in the picture below) where you have water on all three sides and land on just one side. This is easily the best part of the island. You have water coming in from all three sides and when you stand there bare foot, its a beautiful experience to feel the loose beach sand beneath your feet get washed away by the force of the waves. Only the part that you are standing on, gets washed away. A hollow starts to appear beneath your feet. The area around you remains at the same level. It is almost as if you were sinking into the sand. Then there is the wind blowing from all directions. This part of India is totally cut off from the rest of the world. There is nothing but peace here, of course apart from the roaring of the waves and the murmuring of the wind.

It is said that when looked from this point, about 2 to 6 km far away, one can see a change in the pattern of the waves, almost as  if the waves were crashing against something beneath the surface of water. This is the Rama Sethu, the bridge built by Rama with the help of monkeys, with stones, to save Sita who had been abducted by Ravana and taken to Lanka.

The ride to Danushkodi was however, very tedious. We were taken in huge trucks which are capable of containing about 20 people, when jam packed. There were times when we thought that the truck would just topple. Luckily it didn’t 🙂 But the trouble was worth it.

Danushkodi had been a developing town before 1964. But in the year 1964, a highly intense storm destroyed the town severely. Before the disaster there had even been trains that ran from Danushkodi to Pamban but the storm caused severe damage to the railway tracks. The remnants of the railway tracks as well as the railway station can still be seen.

A trip to Rameshwaram is incomplete without visiting Danushkodi.