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Masinagudi – The forest and wild life

Masinagudi is a town located near the famous hill station Ooty in Tamilnadu, India. The Mudumalai National park is located near Masinagudi. There are numerous resorts for night stay and wild life safari is very famous. If we have luck we can see tiger, Leopard and wild elephants. The resorts occupying the wild life habitat have been vacated in recent times by the forest department. This has helped in increasing the tiger count in the National park. There are around 400 tigers in the forest now. The wild animals like elephants and tiger require larger eco-system to sustain life as they multiply. They mark their territory of 10kms in the case of Tigers. The Elephants can walk as long as 150 kms a day in search of food all though they usually walk 25 km/day on average.

We stayed in a homestay in Mavanalla 10 kms away from Mudumalai. We reached there for a night’s stay. There was a visiting wild elephant named Renovdo by the locals. As we went in the first week of August 2019 the place was very dry without greenery and water. This elephant has started hunting the residential areas for food. In the nights it gets into the homestays breaking the fence and eats all the trees and potted plants that are available. The day before we reached there it had uprooted the cement slabs in the neighboring homestay destroying the place. Our host showed us the video of that. We were awestruck thinking what if the elephant comes to this homestay tonight. The homestay had a bulb at the front, beyond 2 meters we couldn’t see anything. It was a very remote place and pitch dark. Now and then the maid there would go with a torch in hand and check if the elephant is standing nearby. I got to know that the giant elephants do not make any noise or vibration when they walk. Even if they come close to us and stand we will not realize unless we see them. Because their foot is god designed to be so soft, and they have a way of walking tiptoed. Nature’s beautiful creation indeed!

The hosts at the homestay were very nice people. We ate for dinner some Chapathi and Dhaal. Simple but hot and well made. The dining table was placed in open space with pitch dark greenery at our sides. Many cats were walking around the dining with dim lighting. Having dinner there was thrilling. The Homestay owner told us a lot of stories about wild dogs and Leopard that ate their pet dogs. I heard about the wild dogs for the first time there. The locals say the wild dogs, when they come in packs are the most dangerous that even the elephants and tigers move away from them when they are caught single. Worst thing is the wild dogs will not even spare the bones. Imagine a death without evidence! But this is not the case when a tiger or a leopard hunts. They leave back portions of meat and bones.

We occupied a room at the ground level which had a large full size glass window facing the building entrance. The thought of the wild animals breaking the glass and entering our room was a real nightmare. I was so happy to see the sunrise that I got up at 6 AM in the morning. This never happens usually when I am at my home. There were so many varieties of birds humming in the morning welcoming the sunlight. I came out of my room and saw how the place looks in the morning. It was indeed energy giving. The sunlight, the birds and fresh breath of the environment was so alluring. All my fear swept away and I was envying how lucky this homestay owners are to have such a beautiful home in the wilds.

In the morning we had a simple breakfast of Idlies (The traditional south Indian food) and left for the jungle safari. Our first target was to see a Tiger atleast. So we headed straight to Bandipur crossing Tamilnadu border. But on the way the sight was little disappointing because a recent forest fire had burnt many trees on our way. We would have seen atleast 300 deer all our way. Finally we reached the Bandipur Safari starting point. We bought our tickets and sat on the trekking van. We saw Bison, deer and Wild elephant. The forest smells of eucalyptus and other green plants. I just loved the oxygen levels in the forest zone. Kept deep breathing and enjoying the scents.

From there we rushed to Mudumalai for safari. The Safari at both Bandipur and Mudumalai closes by 6pm giving privacy for the animals. During nights the animals sit on the roads and enjoy their space. But there are some guys who take people on unauthorized safaris at night which are unsafe. We are accountable for our safety in those rides. The Animals can be spotted at late evenings and early mornings near the water resources, or where the deers are seen as they come to hunt. The singa val kurangu (Lion tail monkeys) sitting on the trees gives signal to the deers about the tiger or leopard arriving. We saw that where ever a herd of deer stand two or more deer don’t graze at all. They stay vigilant like our soldiers looking at different directions for any predator. Nature has all the knowledge and training. We have to just learn from them.

The wild animals don’t come near humans easily. They hate bikers, they chase bikes. Wild elephants sometimes chase vehicles. In the forest zone it’s strictly prohibited to stop vehicle on the road. We have to keep moving. Also the forest department fines anyone who stops the vehicle.

The tigers hunt humans if they turn man eaters. They hunt humans for the salt and taste they like. Leopards and lions don’t hunt humans. They only attack. The bear does not hunt. It eats fruits and worms. It attacks humans but not dangerous. The Bison is most dangerous. No animal can hunt it. It’s very strong and throws away humans to long distance with its head.

We watched for elephant dung on the way. If it looks wet then elephant is around and has just passed through that way. When elephant is out of sight we can only find them with their smell. Each animal has a smell. The Irula Tribal people are experts in handling these animals. They can train elephants with great skill. The Irula ladies were cutting the bushes on the road side at the stretch in which we are prohibited to get down from the vehicle. The men were boldly walking on the road for some forest duty. The forest department have employed many of the local tribal people in government services there. Because they know the forest. It’s their homeland.

The trip was full of adrenaline rushes and longing to see the wild animals upfront. We felt love and sympathy for wild animals. Thankfully the following week i.e. second week of August 2019 there was heavy spells of rain in the forest never before in history. God saved these animals is what I thought. Because they don’t have the luxury of the domestic animals to which we feed food and water from alternate sources.

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Mahabaleshwar – Nature art!

Mahabaleshwar is a place full of strawberry farms and scenic view. Any one who glances through these photos can easily remember Rajinikanth Sivaji movie “Balleilakka song” location, “Wai” is near Mahabaleshwar. The valley is exotic ! with the beautiful colours of blues, greens and tans blending and melting us at the first glance.

There are many view points around the spot. What touched my heart is the Arthur seat, named in memory of Sir Arthur after his wife and son drowned in the Savitri river.

Among the other view points not to be missed is the needles hole view point.

The hot pot “Chaai” (mud pot tea) is amazing after the stroll. We can also have some fun time with the monkeys there:

The strawberry garden is a must visit and what’s awesome is the fresh strawberry ice-cream. Slurp!!!

The Mahabaleshwar temple and panchganga temple are landmark spots. The Panchganga temple have five rivers flowing in the same place. Its wonder to see and the place is a bliss to visit, even if you are not a temple person.

Now we have finished our tour to Mahabaleshwar, the cream of strawberry still feels in my tongue 🙂 yummm! Strawberry Jam is very famous there.

Watch out for the next touring location very soon 🙂

Silence in Ecosystem

As we walk into natural spaces like waters or greens, we feel so eternal and peaceful. If we closely observe we will find tiny bees, grasshoppers and even small birds flying away as we walk in. We often forget that it is their habitat and we have entered their ecosystem without asking permission.

We enjoy the wind, the beautiful scenery. But we fail to ask permission to these Nature house owners. Today as I walked into a lakebed, I said hello to each of these tiny souls and waited for them to give me way. I felt they are talking back to me asking “Hey wait, let me move out of way! Don’t stamp me”, “Who is this stranger?”, “Hey look this human has entered our place alert! chhhirpi chirrrpi”, “will she harm us?”.

As I silenced myself and moved slowly inch by inch and told them “I am your friend, don’t be afraid”, they relaxed and moved back to calmness.

Ecosystem is very important to maintain Nature’s beauty to highest standards. Human footsteps and aura should not disturb their peace. I have decided to enter any natural habitat hereafter with prayers and Silence so that I can hear what they speak. The sound of my breath and movements be silent so that I hear them breathing! Nature love!

Firewalk is Good!

If there is no sunset,
we will not know the value of sunrise.
If there is no newmoon,
we will not know the value of fullmoon.

We remember the happy moments in life as memories,but
we remember the saddest moments in life as achivements.
Stormy nights in deep sea for few hours is always remembered,
more than a thousand voyages in plain sea.

A firewalk for a minute,
gives more powerful lessons than a marathon.
The fire injuries in foot show,
body and mind can heal on its own with time,
no matter how grevious the burns are!

Toughest steel gets more lashes,
The vast sea is stolen of its wealth everyday,
The tallest mountain is targeted by all adventerers,
The mango tree gets more stone throw.

People dont budge until the glory is lost!
The steel should brake, the fishes go extinct,
The mountain top is broken, all mangoes are stolen.
That is when nature plays Karma game to evade the destruction.

Those who understand the Karma game can keep smiling all their life,
for no loss no sorrow can bring them grief!
These are the saints or good souls as we call them,
Bliss is the aura they spread, and Time is their bestfriend!


Alleppey : The Venice of India

Alleppey or Alappuzha is located in God’s own country in the backwaters of Kerala. Its houseboats are world famous. The people of Alleppey navigate by boat service to their houses and marketplace. As we move along the backwaters, we can see boat stops all the way just like bus stops. The main source of income in Alleppey is tourism and is one of the famous Honeymoon spots of India. There are also the peace-loving people who come and stay here for a couple of weeks enjoying the calm waters. The city is full of Canals and lagoons. We also walked in the beautiful green farmlands in between the waters. Rice is grown in plenty.  People catch fish in the canals. Rice and fish curry make a tasty lip-smacking daily food for the locals rich in protein and carbohydrates.

We rented a double decker houseboat for a day. This houseboat had four bedrooms, two dining room, Kitchen and living area with Divans to sit at the first floor. The rooms were located at the basement and the windows touched the water level. It feels like floating in the backwaters in a bed. The water splashes the room windows night and day and fills the heart with grace and lustre. The buoyancy of the water pushes the boat gently up against gravity making us float. We sleep like that log of wood afloat. Watching the stars, sky and waters in absolute silence is a bliss.

In the houseboat we had a full-fledged kitchen with modular racks, Refrigerator and grinder. All the facilities required to cook a tasty feast was available in the kitchen. A chef travelled along with us for arranging our meals. It was all chicken, fish and prawns cooked in traditional south Indian style.  

As we travelled in the water canals, the canal banks have fish shops where we purchased fresh fish stopping our boat to add to our menu for the dinner. Fresh fish is always a delight to smell, the aroma fills the cooking space and our taste buds. The fishes mixed with Indian spices especially pepper, cardamom and clove from the spice land Kerala is an unmatchable Feast.

To visit Alleppey, our five senses should be ready to See the beauty of the water and the boats, to Feel the winds, to Hear the local folk music in the canal banks, to Taste fresh fish and spices and to Smell the lustrous greens and the fertile soil. The Aura feels like Paradise on earth. It is indeed!

You are the Muse

Muse of Nature

You are the Muse,
of all captured moments!
You are the music,
Behind all the memories!

The two little dolls,
Get all your attention.
No matter where you stroll,
they grab everyone’s appreciation.

Creativity needs inspiration,
After all the perspiration,
You make everything complete,
untying the knots and folding the pleats,
The Midas touch is in your Muse!

You are the Muse,
Who creates Titans!
You are the soul,
Of the family!
The banyan tree that stands tall,
bless you age of it’s own!

(P.S : Poetry as Birthday wish for a lovable lady and mother of two dolls)

Netrikann

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cast : Nayantara, Ajmal, Saran Sakthi

Streaming: Disney Hotstar

Language: Tamil

The film is a remake of the south Korean Movie “Blind” which is also available in Youtube. The story of the film has all elements of heroine centric film. Nayanthara has given a blast, super good performance! The heroine introduction is mind-blowing. Her blonde hair colour stripped ponytail and black & white check shirt for a cop look makes us jaw dropping! Lady superstar rocks! This movie is a masterpiece of Nayanthara’s acting performances carved to perfection from costume to expressions.

With very few characters propagating the screenplay the antagonist Ajmal seems best choice though his potential is not utilized fully. His acting scope is very less for such a lengthy film.

The police characters make the comedy part, but screenplay looks very artificial. Saran Sakthi comes in the middle of the film and steels the show. Saran has supported the protagonist perfectly and we can feel the youth and speed during his screen presence. Its Saran’s dialogues that bring us thrill throughout the movie. Nayanthara has nailed it well when she falls on the road while crossing and when she plays the elder sister. The emotions do rock and roll through her big eyes.

If violence was reduced the film would get a clean chit for 5 stars. The “Sudari” song by Sid keeps ringing in the ears. “Idhuvum kadandhu pogum” (meaning: This will also pass away”) is a strong message in the film narrated with an apt story. The support given by a Lady superstar to girl-power emphasizing being alive and safe is more important than being a trustworthy friend says it all. “Do not let people feed on your fears” is the best message that comes from Nayanthara’s personal life rocking the film industry for almost two decades and living a life of her own sans parents or family. Just in the interview before Netrikann movie release she revealed her father is sick for past 13 years and her mother is taking care of him. Her parents don’t know how her day-to-day life is. She deserves an applause both as an actress and as a Lady lioness for living by example.

Mimi : Movie Review

Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The movie has a message that motherhood is not for the weak but for the brave women! The film is a comedy drama. Kriti Sanon looks awesome in the dance sequence. All the artists have performed their part well. But the storyline looks loosely coupled. The depth is missing and logic missing in many places.

Why this movie review?! I watched this movie in Jio Cinema, also available in Netflix. The core story is based on a Marathi film “Mala Aai Vhhaychy!” meaning “I want to be a Mother”. This Marathi movie is directed by Samruddhi Porey, who is an award-winning female director, producer, actor and interestingly she is also a lawyer by profession. The Story is based on a real legal case before 2010. This movie is her debut film and the female lead Urmilla Kanetkar rocks portraying motherhood to perfection. Movie is available in youtube and I watched it. The emotions outperform the language barrier.

In India the Surrogacy bill 2020 says foreign couples are prohibited from getting surrogate mothers in India. Surrogacy insurance is also mandate now in India to protect surrogate mother’s health. The movie largely misleads Indian women to forgo abortion when the child is diagnosed sick. Celebrating motherhood cannot make a career-oriented woman handicapped with emotions. Because we know so many Indian women like Mary Kom who chase their dreams with their kids with even more vigour.

The introductory scene of Mimi and Bhanu (Pankaj Tripathi) are flashy and comic. The drama begins when the foreign couple leave the scene. It’s a hiccup drama I should say except the beautiful white baby that is born with green eyes. The baby is a delight to watch. But idea perfectly copied from the Marathi Movie. The white angel symbolism and white lady gifting Aeroplane again comes from the Marathi Movie. Despite the legalities and formalities, a single woman raising a child in India, putting baby to school all by herself and staying unmarried all her life feels too much. Especially when there is a divorcee lady and a childless couple available in the same frame who can love the child better. Kriti gaining 15 kg for the film is not at all justified and not at all required. Recently we don’t see any carrying mother getting glutton. Especially a woman aspiring film career can’t overeat.

I give 2 rating for the movie for advocating adoption, but Mimi doing single parenting all the way is not justified. One beautiful part I like is Bhanu explaining to the American couple about Kriti’s bravery, and that suicide is not a solution. Lastly, we should accept not good-looking babies also as every baby is beautiful in its own way. The emotional trauma of Surrogate mothers is a big miss. Because Mimi seems perfectly happy with the surrogate baby! Drama well played!

Cuddles

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

As you come in my arms,
I am mesmerized by your charms,
my little wonder,
I see you ponder,
before you cuddle!

As I sing the Tamil songs,
your mil nails pierce long!
the cervicals resonate,
the seven sounds,
as your eyelids cuddle under my neck!

As you count with your tiny fingers,
I see the rhythm matches,
my pats on your shoulder,
and the cuddles get warmer,
forgetting the world around us!

You are granny’s delight,
and grandpa’s twilight!
Far away at the horizon,
I see you as the sun,
meeting the sky and the sea!

The warmth you spread around us,
snugs us with your smiling face,
all night and day!
Its your cuddles that we long for,
No moon no star is as warm as you!

No man’s land!

In the no man’s land,
I am born!
whining and complaining,
is not the norm!

Ashes are older,
fires are bolder!
Its a do or die,
the sky is colder!

It gets dawn and dusk,
the flowers bloom and wither,
but life is a stagnant water,
for its the no man’s land!

No word, no sound,
No love, no move,
No stars in the sky,
No babies cry!

Its the flying birds,
and the green grass,
that fills the heart,
like the firefly at night!

Its the no man’s land,
Freedom is the norm,
No citizenship, no borders,
All is right and no fiefdom!

Astrology: Bhrigu Bindu

Bhrigu Maharishi

The planets in the solar System that revolve around us and keep touching us with their rays every moment gives us science of Astrology. Bhrigu is the sage among Saptharishis who gave Astrology to people according to Hinduism. Bhrigu lake and Bhrigu ashrams exist in many places in Indian Territory. His purpose of making Astrology was to save people from draining their energy and channelizing it in the right direction by giving hints about future. Knowing the future is beyond human limitation. Astrology keeps up this limitation by not revealing the whole picture about Future.  

              To know our personality if you are checking the Sun sign or Moon sign or Lagna sign… Its kind of confusing as there are only 12 signs. We see we belong to one fourth of them. To ward of this confusion, we can find our DESTINY POINT. The “Bhrigu Bindu” tells the destiny point.

              Our entire life revolves around this Sign where the Bhrigu Bindu is placed.

How to calculate Bhrigu Bindu?

Aries sign is starting point in astrology chart. The 12 signs can be divided into 30 degrees each out of 360 degrees.

  1. Find the angle of Moon starting from Aries Sign in your birth Chart.
  2. Find the angle of Rahu starting from Aries Sign in your birth Chart.
  3. Subtract the angle of Rahu from angle of Moon and divide by 2.
  4. Check the result position in the birth chart to find your Destiny point.

Below is example:

I use this website to calculate birth chart: https://www.prokerala.com/astrology/birth-chart/

For example, below is planet position calculation for Birth date 9th March 1995 and birth time 9:00 AM. Place of birth is Mumbai.

  1. The position of Moon from Aries is 51 degrees.
  2. The position of Rahu from Aries is 194 degrees.
  3. The calculation (194 – 51 ) / 2 = 71.5 degrees.

We know 71.5 degree falls between 60 and 90 degrees from above chart created by me.

This person is a strong Gemini who has strong communication skills and very Smart! The destiny point falls in Gemini which defines the personality.

Although the Lagna sign is Aries, Sun sign is Pisces and moon sign is in Taurus for this person, the life feels like Gemini always. This is the epicenter of personality. This doesn’t change with season, age or year after year. Its Destiny point given to us by Sage Bhrigu.

As another example if Rahu and Moon are at the same sign in birth chart. Then Bhrigu bindu is positioned in Aries sign. Then you are a doer, an action oriented person and good deeds will define your life.

Find the destiny age?

This Destiny point defines a destiny age, at this age life is redefined.

For example, if we live a life span on 70 years on an average. We can divide our life into 12 parts. Approximately 5 years we spend in each sign starting from Ascendant or Lagna.

For example, if a person has aries ascendant with above chart as reference, he spends in Aries first 1 to 5 years, spends in Taurus 6 to 10 year and spends 11 to 15 years in Gemini.

The beauty is this person will meet his destiny between 11 to 15 years. Or more accurately,

End position of Gemini 90 degree and Bhrigu bindu is 71.5 degree, then 90 – 71.5 = 18.5 degrees.

30 degree divided by 5 years as life span for each of the twelve Signs, gives 6.

18.5 / 6 gives 3. Then destiny year starting 11 + 3 gives 14 years of age.

At 13 to 14 years of age a major awakening will occur. His future life will get defined at this point and whatever the person does later in life will revolve around this awakening.

Astrology is not about accuracy but about the awareness of universe and where we are positioned in it. Sage Bhrigu helps us in finding that central point between Birth and Karma. Moon signifies Birth and Rahu signifies Karma. But the truth is what we learn in self-awareness, the Knowledge is what breaks this birth and karma Cycle. For the common man Bhrigu bindu defines his life. This does not apply to the Sages in awareness.

       The aim of this blog is to make astrology simple for the common man as desired by Sage Bhrigu. Thank you for reading!