25 July 2008

I AM FAMOUS

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i am one of them
i mean i am there in the crowd
no, no i am not in the pikcha
bikkus i am taking the pikcha
how can i be in the pikcha when i am taking the pikcha ?
That is not all of dem, its just part of the crowd
massive it was, MASSIVE
wow!!

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WHAT is he trying to do ? climbing on his friend's head ?

you can see him here, the blue shirt.


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oh i forgot to tell you.
This is a festival
i can see that ! you say, you are smiling , such a massive crowd gathered, so many elephants too, decorated. This has to be a festival.
what this is all about ?
i don't know
honestly
i don't know whats going on
believe me.
This always happens to me. i am there in a crowd and i don't even know what is happening.
This festival is called Thrissur Pooram. Mid April every year.
Please google 'Thrissur Pooram' and check, or my readers from Kerala will tell you in comments.
You don't know how lazy i can get. Any way i am not talking about the festival, just pictures.
Pooram is the festival, Thrissur is name of a town in Kerala, South India. Clean beautiful town, Old name Trichur.


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And what do we have here ?
Hellew !

Such a nice chap, presenting this festival to the world....... live
the thing on the mic says Jai Hind TV,
never heard of it.

Nice boy isn't he ? doing a goood job
very sweet, so sweet that i'd like to eat him
not raw
eating them raw is not civilised

TV anchor people taste better deep fried with chili garlic sause

Any way, here is a nice boy, presenting this festival live on his TV to the world
doing a good job, speaking in chaste, fluent poetic Malayalam,
things are going fine for him
and suddenly
and suddenly
out of nowhere
a dreadful looking hairy gorilla pops right up his face and starts clicking his pictures.

WHAT ???

Just imagine the poor chap's shock

eyes go wide, his jaw dropped.........he forgot his lines
eee, aah ! intha, yantha, errrr, he dropped his mic in utter frustration

and i say Hello and show all of my two and a half teeth and smile
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
And this chap, even in a state of shock till the tip of his hair, still manages to smile
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE and says Hi

How nice ! How sweet ! ......... i decided not to eat him
He was not angry. He was looking over my shoulder.

hmmm... what ?
i turned my coconut and saw a couple of guys frantically waving their arms

owee ? are they drowning in the air ?
They were the camera crew
still waving their arms in frenzy,
drowning ?? trying to speak but they can't.
its like in your dream you want to shout and the voice doesn't come out
i turned my coconut back to our friend

what ?

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
i showed my stupid teeth again

poor chap was sort of confused.
he touched his head with his finger and pointed towards my coconut.
oh
aaaah !
Your head ? My head ??
you mean my head ?

What my head ?
i turned my coconut back and forth, to the camera crew and our friend
am i ?
am i blocking your camera ?
like a damned fool i am still standing there

is my head blocking your camera ?

eee ahh..... athey ! (yes in Malayalam) very hesitant, confused and very polite.
oh, oh i am sorrry, oh ! oh ! i am sorrrry

then i realised the back of my coconut was splashed to the viewers
oh i am famous ? i should expect some fan mail then.

pleased with my performance, i showed my teeth to the camera.
i said byee
and the poor chap smiles and says byee
oh how sweet !
They didn't bash me up for interrupting their show.
i deserved some good hammering.
He was so polite, the entire crew was so exceedingly polite

oh dear ! what's wrong with me ?
i didn't eat him, here is the proof. Do you see him there ?
please see the arrow
there he is !
He was back on his job, after a bit of shock treatment



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So i had to go and sit somewhere and think
why am i so dumb ?
When God was giving away intelligence and wisdom to humans, i was sitting in some tea shop in pouring rain, some remote part of Kerala, sitting on the road side, soaked to the bone, sipping kattan kaapee (black coffee)
oh how i love it, kattan chaaya too (black tea) some times.
i missed the boat.
i saw happy smart people on the wisdom boat.
What would i do with intelligence and wisdom anyway ??
one more kattan kaapee please !



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i sat here with these people, oh here is the chap packing masala peanuts for me. i just sat on the road side munching masala peanuts and had a kattan kaapee, no hurry, i had all the time in the world. The elephants will not fly away. They have no wings.
i did not see any wings. How can they fly away ?
Had kattan kaapee in peace.




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She is happy, safe place for tourists, believe me, half the crowd is cops and TV crew. Lots of side attractions, music, food, a variety of things on display


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This was magical, The drums are called Chenda, please correct me.



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i could see him smiling,

performing for me ?

i bowed in appreciation. Thank you i said after clicking the picture.

But i was disturbed by scenes i didn't want to see.

it was magical for me, perhaps not for the elephants, who are hundred times more sensitive than humans.



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Quite disturbing
Remove the elephants, the glamour is gone, there is no festival. Chains are for safety, not good, but subjecting them to deafeaning noise, is torture. This has to stop. There is evolution in other religious practices. Most of the gory practices are fast disappearing, for instance, in this Theyyam puja picture this is supposed to be real blood, now coloured water is splashed on the diety. Hope parading of elephants with deafeaning noise would disappear soon.



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Oh ! he is selling the posters of this festival. i left a bit early, i didn't wait for the fireworks, even worse torture for the elephants. had a train to catch.


76 comments:

vishesh said...

lol rauf! u always write ur posts in an unique way!why don't u post ur 15 mintues of fame?and also why don't u do something abt the elephants?

The Manic Street Preacher said...

magic pics mate! I don't like the chains on the elephants. Maybe chain some people up instead I'd say.

'Massive' seemes to be dominating the English language lately. I think it started in Staines with Ali G..... ;-)

Claudia said...

Oh Rauf! You are one of the wisest and most intelligent people I've come across in the past few years. So kind and witty, too! Your pictures are so beautiful and vibrant. I love India through your eyes. Another wonderful post. India will be my last journey.

Ruth said...

Hehehe, I like picturing the back of your head in front of the TV camera, blocking the news guy. Did you really turn and smile at the camera? Hehehe, I love it.

I'm only missing the sounds, rauf. Everything else is here, I can even feel the heat.

I'm glad to hear they have stopped other harmful festival activities. Hope the chains will come off the poor elephants and maybe stop using them at all? What would happen to the festival if the elephants were not there?

Sandy said...

Well yeah!!! An update from Rauf !!!~~~~~~I've been waiting and I wasn't disappointed. I was fascinated reading every word and seeing every photo! And like you, I do NOT think these wonderful maternal creatures need to be in chains... Thanks so much for a few chuckles also while reading it.

Aaarti said...

Lovely pictures.. know wat, i am shit scared of these giant creatures.. wouldnt go a mile near them..even in temples, i recall mom taking me around instead of directly to the entrance cos these huge thingys would be standing there waving their trunk saying hello to all... the closest i got to was in Sringeri, i had no choice.. was cornered... :(
and now at Nagore, where i took picktures of the dargah mascot!!!

But sad to see the chains and the noise they are subjected to, have heard they hear miles away, so this must be like horrible for them..10 times as loud as it is for us.. hope sometime in the future all these silly festivals are stopped and we start caring more about the person next to us and the dogs on the streets! :)

wokay, me going off for a biggie meeting now..

Aaarti said...

and when do we get to see ur coconut... errr the back of ur head on tv?????????????? malllu channela??? appo gaali.. onnum puriyadu!! :P

Matangi Mawley said...

lovely!

i remember attendin smethin like this- i was very little then- guess i was in lkg.. not big- bt at a small level..

photos are brill!

Cuckoo said...

Raufji,
You have a unique ishtyle of narrating your stories. Always intriguing. :)

Have linked you on blogbharti.

http://www.blogbharti.com/cuckoo/culture/thrissur-pooram/

Cuckoo

monsoon-dreams said...

rauf,
u made my day!i've never been to thrissur pooram and i have never seen so many snaps of pooram together,u covered every aspect of it.wish u could record the sound too.i think u must have stolen all the intelligence and wisdom and left for a kattan kaapi:-)your writing shows that. yes,the chains on elephants may be a torture for them,but i think none of them have gone wild during pooram.
pls take me with u next time u go to kerala.i promise to be ur translator.afterall mallus r nice ,alle?athey..athey.

Alok said...

I found myself walking here from cuckoo blog :)

Ah! So beautifully taken pictures, well done. I have heard of this festival but never got a chance to see it live. Thanks for sharing so many photographs of the festival. I found your narration on the blog can seriously beat the intelligence :)

SwedeHart said...

Hey! This is an amazing festival. I wish I could get a festival like this in my town!

shooting star said...

nice shots!!..i have seen some travelshow on kerala where this festival was being shown..i liked it then and i liked your pics now....but as you rightly pointed out...the chains shouldnt be there..and for the sake of the elephants..we need to have better arrangements

Kathy said...

Dear Rauf,

Hello from Long Beach California! as always your blog makes me smile...seeing the happy faces enjoying themselves and the beautiful animals...love the elephants. :)

marietom said...

magnifique série, les éléphants sont magnifiquement décorés, et les photos de tambours très jolies.

Alicia M B Ballard said...

Hello dear Raufie

I was mezmerized with the breath-takingingly beautiful elephants standing in such straight line all along the series.

I did notice the heavy chains...
I did not realize the added high sensitivity factor.

Ah... that need to subjutage!

It was hard to take the chain cutting into the leg - sad Raufie, sad.

I learned today that US citiznes are comig to the Canadian Arctic to hunt for Polar Bears!!! It is illegal to do so on their soil and to bring any parts into their country - now they lobbying to in Congress to change law.
Back to the dark ages I'd say...

We seem to be getting back to the dark ages around here.

Sometimes, I wonder if we are really making progress or are we just going blindly around in circles chasing our own tail - Hm?

Good post Rauf, wonderful pics
Lots of love and hugs

Ezee123 said...

R,

I have been inactive in the world other then Flickr. I kept on thinking I must check up your blog but never got around to it.

Now I am on my way out of Kerala. Bound for Goa.

I wish I knew you were in Thrissur. I was also there for the Pooram. I did put up a single shot of the Pooram on Flickr. Rest, I have not had the time to.

Lovely photographs of the Pooram. You have captured the essence of it. The crowds , the elephants, the umbrellas and the side lights.

I hope life is good and that you are doing well.

Have a great life.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ezee123/

mystic rose said...

Poor elephants.

Rauf said...

Hi VISHESH, even if i had the clip on my hand, i'd have to do a big favour to my viewrs by not uploading it on the youtube, it would be too dreadful too sacry.

Rauf said...

Hi PREACHER, why are you jumping hopping around ? I'll come to your new place. i'll be there Preacher.

Massive massive yes, this guy Ambani ownes nearly half of India, i think he is planning to buy New Castle United, good news bad news i don't know what it is.
please give my love to Caz and Jax

Rauf said...

i don't think so CLAUDIA,
i know what a goof i am. i will not notice a gaping hole in the sky. Ah ! you are enjoying the summer with Ana Clara and parents in Portugal. Eager to see your stunning pictures. i will not sing a song about India Claudia, but it will be a unique experience, good or bad. History says its been a good experience for people of England. They know where they are going.

Rauf said...

Oh yes RUTH, i did smile to the camera before i ducked. Those chaps behind the camera and the anchorman were a bit rattled. We Indians always too pleased to smile for the camera, any bodys camera.

Yes Ruth, most of the old gory religious practices, animal sacrifices have disappeared. This is a good sign.

Rauf said...

Thank you SANDY, They are all trained elephants, much used to the high noise level. But they are always in chains where they are housed. They are owned by different temples. this festival is conducted in different temples, but Thrissur temple festival is most popular with massive crowd attending. Every year incidents of elephants running into the crowd at different temples are reported.
Yes there have been deaths too.

Rauf said...

HIYA AAARTI, better to keep away, they are unpredictable, even the trained ones
please check this 'The Hindu' report of last year

http://www.thehindu.com/2007/04/28/stories/2007042811320500.htm

i was chased by wild elephants, the last one being in Masinagudi forest. So huge and you don't expect them to run so fast. i jumped in to the jeep, luckily the engine was running. Some funny incident in Thattaikkadu in Kerala,near kothamangalam. i have written about it, no elephant chased me but its a funny story

http://whitesroad.blogspot.com/2006/03/sri-lanka-frogmouth.html#comments

Rauf said...

Thank you MATANGI

Rauf said...

Thanks for the link CUCKOO Ji

i don't know if this can be called my ishtyle, perhaps being a dimwit and a goofball makes me write without thinking.

Rauf said...

Mallus are nice ? More than half perhaps three fourths of my friends are Mallus . i sincerely apologise MONSOON, i see that i have not responded to some comments in my other blogs. i'll do it here.

Some very close to my heart are Mallus or half Mallus.
i think all close to my heart are Mallus. So please be careful when you tell your friend in Malayalam that rauf is a pickpocket, i can follow the language. i may not reply very well. It is lodged somewhere deep in my head. i never made any conscious effort to learn the language but it has invaded my system. And i love it.

A few friends living outside Kerala all their life wanted to settle down there, it was their dream. Spent a lot, bought lands built houses only to see their dreams shattered. One has to accept right and wrong, good and bad as a way of life to live in Kerala. Its fine if i can't reach the railway station and miss the train and i shouldn't be angry over that. But it is difficult to
have such a mind set for an outsider. Actually i am more an insider than a resident Keralite. i am left scratching my head in the middle of a deserted road without food and shelter on how many days ? i lost count Monsoon.
But the place keeps calling me and i love being there wandering alone aimlessly right since i was 12 with a bag, hardly any money in my pocket even today. The only
thing i have added is a camera. No improvement in my baggage or travel style. i carry an iPOD, but mostly its not on. Love for the place and people and atmosphere drives the music in my head without any aid. The only luxury for a couple of weeks i had, was
when Kerala Tourism asked me to take pictures for their initial 'God's own country' Campaign That was a bad experience as i was dealing with officials who were hardly familiar with their own state. They made posters of my pictures. That was perhaps 20years ago. i wanted to show them the Kerala they had never seen, but they were not interested. That was the end. i went back to my aimless wandering, roadside kattan kaapi and pazhampori, puttu kadala
kari, avalose unda, or hot sweet baked adai wrapped in banana leaves early in the mornings, oh how i love it Monsoon ! all road side stuff. i sit right there and
enjoy. Its a bitter sweet romance with Kerala.

oh no Monsoon, i could not cover all of it. i missed the firework, left a bit early as i am getting too old to fight to get into a bus or a train. Had to go to Shornur. Visited my friend Sridharan in Trichur before i went to the temple.

There have been cases of elephants running amok, many lives have been lost, i have given the link to
AAARTI, but that is not all. there have been many more incidents like those mentioned in 'The Hindu'article.

Been blogging since October 2005, more then half the posts are on Kerala. i have slowed down now Monsoon, want to go and see some friends in TVM and Kollam this month. Sencottai Punalur line has been converted to broad guage now and the trains are running, have to see the difference. i love that journey, have 2 posts on that segment. From Kollam i'll take a bus to TVM.
Which is your place Monsoon ?
Lemme guess
Around kottayam ?

Rauf said...

Hi ALOK, i am not a busy man, i sincerely apologise for the delay in response, i was plain lazy. You need a lot of patience to see this festival. i had lots. Other temples around Thrissur conduct the same festival with equal enthusiasm, Thrissur being most popular. The temple is beautiful. You don't see much of the temple here in this post.
there's hardly any festival in April in Kerala, and it is not the right time to visit. Once the monsoons set in the place becomes really beautiful. Though safe, i would advise you to avoid the crowded festivals unless you have your own transportation.
Thank you Alok, Welcome to Daylight Again.

Rauf said...

ah Yes ALOK, a man with ten milligrams of brains would be careful after one loss. i don't even remember how many cameras and things i have lost. Now out of embarassment i keep my loss to myself as i have become a joke.
That perhaps speaks of my intelligence. i don't say i have never been attached to things, or take my losses philosophically as expierence. i have been plain lazy and careless and brainless all my life.

Rauf said...

Hi SWEDEHART, You must've seen bigger crowd in music festivals. i remember watching 'Woodstock' but thatwas long before you were born.
Hope things are going fine for you Swedehart. i wish you all the success and glory, i know you don't want any glory.

Rauf said...

Welcome to Daylight Again SHOOTING STAR, Terrific atmosphere, though very dusty and noisy, all kinds of noise and Music. The elderly gentleman playing Chenda is Peruvanam Kuttan Marar. Actually i never knew when i took the picture that he is a famous and highly respected Chenda player, a friend of mine told me his name.
Unfortunately, when you remove the elephants the entire charm is lost and there is no festival. Animal welfare activists have been protesting for years resulting in some minor changes like the elephants should not be made to walk on concrete or on the roads. But none implemented. Bringing down the noise level also was suggested. Firework is a bad idea.
i did not stay for that but that attracts the crowd. quite depressing to see the chains. This is a political issue. Votes are the prime concern, not the comfort of the elephants.

Rauf said...

Thank you KATHY, please give my love to Richard and Marcey

Rauf said...

as usual with a little hlp from google translator.


Merci MARIE, sa fait une atmosphère électrique, autant de tambours et trompettes faire de bruit assourdissant. Ce festival se déroule dans beaucoup d'autres temples, mais Thrissur est le plus célèbre et attire des foules immenses

Rauf said...

Dearest ALICIA, the Kerala state government would fall if you remove the elephants in chains from the festival. This is a big political issue. See the crowd and the number of votes. Suggestions from Animal welfare activists are welcome but not implemented. Its the same in any country Alicia, Ban the guns the government falls.
The gun lobby is very powerful.
The government turns a blind eye on such issues. They have to stay in power and come back to power
It will take years for them to change. Yes we are going in circles.
Hope we do not go back to the dark ages.
Lots of love and Hugs Alicia.

Rauf said...

HI EZEE, must be raining in Goa now. no rains when my friend visited last month. Have to go to Trivandrum this month. A friend of mine tells me that Senkottai Kollam section has been converted to broad guage and the trains are running now.

i was away from the blog world for more than 4 months due to shifting back to my old place interior work, shifting net connection telephone, it was messy. Now back to normal life. When ever you are in Chennai please call me 98407 68067 land line 044-28586985.
Unfortunately i don't stop at Ernakulam often, i always hop to kothamangalam from Alwaye, i stay at my friend Sathyaraj's place in Pallurthy Cochin, very enthusiastic photographer he is.
hope we'll meet some day EZEE

Rauf said...

MYSTIC ROSE, i understand you are busy. Thank you

mystic rose said...

Not busy, at the end of the post I was left with only that thought. I have no clue how or why this whole thing started, but I'm guessing it was meant to be awesome,a show of might, and pomp, a long long time ago during the reign of a king.

I expect there weren't that many crowds then.

And I'm still left thinking "poor elephants" the elephant is my earliest memory of a wild animal that I encountered as a child, and I was just plain fascinated with it, okay it wasn't wild , it had a mahout who was riding it. I fed it some very precious Gems(Cadbury's wala) which was a very very rare thing for me to get. Perhaps once in a couple of years I got to eat a few. But anyway, the thing is I was so utterly in love with the elephant that I fed it the whole packet, one by one. And it got quite attached to me by the end of it. I was hoping that it would overthrow the rider and choose me instead to ride it.

monsoon-dreams said...

oh rauf,
i was just kidding when i asked if mallus r so bad.i know,rauf,for an outsider,kerala is best from a distance or may be,to spend a few days.i like the place,not the mentality of the general population.may be i know more of the negative side coz i've been living in kerala.somehow my favourite place is tamilnadu.infact my biggest dream is to own a home in kodai.every opportunity i get i flee to tn.in kerala i like munnar,aleppey,the beaches in trivandrum and kannur etc.so,dear rauf,there is no need to apologise:-).i know my land needs to improve a lot.btw,kerala tourism dept has a wild life tour programme.i have booked for it(the cochin govt. guest house manager is a close family friend of mine).and thats my first priority once i return to india next month.
i am not from kottayam.my home is in tvm and was working in the beautiful alappuzha.
so i am hereby proclaiming that the kerala-tamilnadu misunderstanding has been sorted out amicably ;-) see ya.have a great day!

Alicia M B Ballard said...

Raufie dear

Interesting you should mention "the dark ages" because I often think we are somehow being swallowed up by barbarians.

The lack of culture (not education nor information) is what is taking us back in a retrograde process, no matter how much the "indigo children" are spreading around nor that we are in the Age of Aquarious... the dark forces are also gaining momentum at a dizzying pace.
I wish I would just be in a horrible nightmare.

OK, either the above or, we are just getting old - and becoming our parents... lol

Lots of love and hugs

The drums you mentioned... oh, how I would have liked to hear the drums :)

Candy Minx said...

Amazing photos. I didn't like the chains...maybe the chains could go on the felow with the blue shirt!

The elephants are so incredible majestic...I love their head gear.

As ever...wonderful pics Rauf. Good to see you!

Ruth said...

I like the new header, rauf. You maintained some elements and added a new photo (maybe not new, as in you just took it, but new for the header). The light behind the vessel brings the whole thing to life. And I'm impressed with the comments format, no one else has anything like it.

Aaarti said...

Wowww.. love the new header and you've also tweaked the html... i can see your page as it opens... instead of scrolling to the right, etc... nIce!! :D


Woww, scary news articles(the ones u had given abt the elephant going berserk.. i am shit crazy scared...)/
how u been????

Alok said...

Brilliant photos!

And great fillers in between!

whisper said...

so lovely festival...wish i get to see this one day...and the pics are amazing...u sure got talent in taking pics and probably more... umm...u changed ur banner i see...and it's beautiful! ;;)

Sewmouse said...

I love the elephants, they look uncomfortable in those heavy head covers, however!

I agree it is a shame to put them in chains and in discomfort from the loud noises.

Thank you for stopping at my blog, Rauf. I have missed you, and hope that all your moving and telephone/internet problems are solved and done now.

e2d said...

I haven't been to one in a long time. What a treat Rauf! The only things missing are the noise of the crowd and the sound of the melam! I just love it...but honestly never thought how it might be affecting the elephants as you have mentioned in your post.
Hope you are doing great Rauf..take care.

Sharon said...

The colors of India are magnificent & your photos so candid as usual.

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

Hello RAUF,
What a festival I think I love the peanuts hmmm yummie, tho I am only feeling sad for the elephants because they are wearing those chains on their legs, I am an animal lover you know? I love elepants, cow, horses, dogs almost all animals exept for muscitoos ( they bite me always!), snakes 9eeeh!) and shit-flies (yak!), but I understand its necessary for the safety of the people, Great serie rauf.

Hug from JoAnn
( I won't forget you my friend, please don't forget me)

tulipspeaks said...

I dont know which one I liked more - the pics or ur narration!

:)


ammu.

Rauf said...

MYSTIC ROSE, sorry i took time, i could have responded earlier, i had absolutely no work, nuttin, simblee sitting wasting time, with friends of course, this seems to be a season of friends, sometimes no one comes for days. i am fine with friends but i become dangerous when i am alone. That is when disasters happen. i am a walking disaster. So i decided to play with the template.

Yes elephants can be good griends, they have good memory, perhaps the elephant still remembers you and may recognise you.

You would have seen gigantic statues of gods Mystic Rose, massive structures, temples churches mosques. Why so huge? any purpose ? These are the symbols of human stupidity. These guys want to make you feel small. You stand before a towering statue of some god nearly touching the sky, Hellew ! This is an attempt to impress you. Why do they want to impress you with such massive structures ? Because they themselves are confused and are in doubt. In my opinion the most confused are the Buddhists. They are beginning to see holes in their philosophy. Same with other religions.

i have seen the best of times Mystic Rose, the swinging sixties.
Thanks to the Beatles. Faith started slipping away. People started seeing holes in their religion. Believe me, Iranians were more westernised than the Americans. Very thin attendance in mosques. Big disaster for Vatican when the west turned towards the eastern philosophy, thanks to the Beatles again. Thanks to the Americans, their interference resulted in Iranian revolution. A man who was not aware that he was a muslim, started going to the mosque. Women started wearing purdah and veil. Muslims should be thankful to the Americans for bringing a revival of Islam.

You believe in God Mystic Rose, your faith is simple and straight.
its in your heart. That is not enough for the promotors of faith.
they want to drown you, impress you with massive display of power, they have lot of money.

Rauf said...

Its raining here MONSOON and i love it. na na i am not going out for a walk, not in the city, gets pretty messy. Just sitting by the window and watching the rain with a glass of hot kattan kaapi. not reading anything now, friends dropping in having endless chaaya sister makes.

oh no, i am not very proud of my place eeder, very loud, everything is loud, music, literature, art, movies, festivals. Tamilnadu is the noisiest place on earth. People talk only about movies and movie stars and movie stars are elected to power, make believe world they see on the screen is real world for them. Where else do you see temples built for movie stars and they are worshipped like gods ?

Nice time to go on a wildlife tour, Next month ? but not right time to spot wild life, just to see lush green of forests, not much rain this year but still it would be very pleasing. Roads are beautiful now. From kochi the nearest would be Thattekkaad, small but lovely, 12 KMs from kothamangalam, but not on the Adimaali Munnar road. Wrote a funny post on Thattekkaad trek, 'srilanka frogmouth'

Idukki then Thekkadi which you would hate. This was one subject i disagreed with KTDC. i told them they would ruin the place by promoting tourism. Now Thekkadi is a mess, you would hate the noisy crowd. you would love crossing misty Peermade, you would feel like stopping there for a glass of hot Chaaya, sitting on a rock by the side of the gushing river surrounded by mist, wearing a shawl. Then to Parambikulam. ideal place to trek is Manampalli forest, but that is on the TN side. Very close to Parambikulam on TN border. i go by the crowded KSRTC buses, but on your own if possible please take Gudalur-Nilambur drive, (Shornur-Nilambur-Gudalur)you would love it Monsoon, you'd be proud of Kerala, through thick forest, its breathtaking. Too many places to visit, Silent valley will be beautiful now, Meenmutty in Wynad, its the top link on my page 'my most favourite post' its too long for you to read. Wynad alone would take a month.
Adirampalli-valparai is another thick forest. Trichur-Chalakudi-Adirampalli-Valparai. Good road till Adirampalli but very bad after that. i was there a couple of months ago. Hope you'd enjoy your visit Monsoon.

My TVM trip is getting delayed, going there to meet Paul Zachriah, dying to meet him. My friend Saddu is taking me there.
i'll post some Alleppy-Chenganacherry boat ride pictures in Blunt knife next. (oh not that five star boat, can't go near it, this is crowded KSRTC things which the locals take) Same time last year and it was raining, i was munching merrily all the way in the boat, too many munches in my backpack.
There are too many, Monsoon, and i am a weak man, i fall to the temptation. i keep munching.

Rauf said...

Dearest ALICIA, Those who run our world, seem to be a small bunch of people, have no regard for culture or human life as such. When they can kill thousands of their own people for some gain one cannot expect much from them. How will they respect nature and wild life ? good to call them ' dark forces' Alicia. They are after total control over the governments.

The drums are called Chenda. Oh you should hear them perform in the temples, they seem to be in a trance, sounds magical.
lots of love and Hugs Alicia

Rauf said...

oh thank you CANDY, This subject is under debate, i don't know why they are debating about it. It is a very popular festival and they have to decide carefully i think, or they may not decide anything just continue the torture to the elephants.
i had no internet for over 4 months Candy, due to shifting of my residence, now got the net, tinkered the template as it was not opening in firefox.

Rauf said...

RUTH, i nearly blew up my house in my childhood and nearly burnt my cousin's house as a grown up. i am dangerous if left alone.
My disasters strike in the nights when i get bright ideas, when the bulb glows in my coconut.
had nuttin to do and i decided to change the template and friends were complaining that my page does not open in Firefox. While tinkering i nearly messed up the whole thing. Still some adjustments to be made.
The picture is SANGAM, where Ganga Yamuna meet in Allahbad. Sangam is sacred place where people take a dip in the holy waters. Actually i did not see where the two rivers meet, perhaps you can see in an aerial view, it was all water to me. The boatman i was in was telling me that this side is Ganga and the other side is yamuna. there are actually three rivers meet according to Hindu Mythology. Ganga Yamuna and Saraswati. Saraswati is a mythical river, it doesn't exist. Just a belief.
Some more adjustments needed in the header too. You can see your tree there in the picture.

Rauf said...

Thank you ALOK

Rauf said...

Aiyoo AAARTEE, what tweeked ?
i dunno tweek or squeek, i dunno HTML PATTUMLL too, this thingee was not opening in Firefox, waterfox, all my friends complaining, i thought i have to do sumtin yabbout it. When i am alone and nuttin to do, i get bright ideas, those bright ideas result in explosions, floods and earthquakes. i don know nuttin about this thing htmal puttuml language and chumma cuttees paestees copies dot for dot arrow for arrow right left and i messed it up. These guys have given 'clear edit' options for dimwits like me. dat saved me.
the picture is Ganga Jumna Sangam, Allahbad, bherry early in da morning. That post is pending for over a year nows. i forgot actually. Waiting for your story and pictures from your long weekend outing. You had fun, i can see dat.

Rauf said...

Hi WHISPER, i think you were away on a holiday ? Europe ??
Hope you are fine.
The header is a holy place of pilgrimage for Indians. The place is Allahbad in Uttar Pradesh, north India. Two Sacred rivers meet here. The meeting place is called SANGAM. Sangam means union.
According to legend there is a third sacred river which is invisible called Saraswati. These are names of godesses. Most of the rivers in India have feminine names, i appreciate that. With the exception of Krishna and Brahmaputra. i am not aware of others. In my opinion the names of all the rivers should be feminine. They are life giving life supporting waters. We have river Cauvery in the south. with cities and towns all along its banks. Cauvery also is a goddess, its a lifeline of south India. Rivers are worshipped here. Water is sacred whisper.

Rauf said...

Things will improve SEWMOUSE,
it takes political will and it is hard to come by and lessons from accidents are soon forgotten. There could be riots if the elephants are removed altogether from the festival. The opposition is always ready to take advantage of the situation.
Thank you Sewmouse, hope you are doing fine.

Rauf said...

me fine E2DEES, friends warned me about the crowd and ladies are not safe. Probably your friends told you the same. i found many ladies there and walking free and it was pretty safe for them. crowd, though noisy, behaved well. Half the crowd were the cops and the TV crew of Hazaar TV channels.
Do you get Mallu Channels there e2dees ? i was able to go very close to the elephants. i left a bit early as i am too old to fight to get into a bus.

Rauf said...

Thank you SHARON, hope you are doing fine

Rauf said...

How can i forget you JO ANN, yes quite true, you just can't love all forms of life. i hate to see caged animals, birds even if they are fed well. What they want is freedom, not food.
i stopped going to Circus long time ago. i hate to see animals trained to perform tricks. But my going and not going doesn't alter anything.

Big hug from me too JOANN, hope you are enjoying your holiday in France.

Rauf said...

Thank you AMMU, sorry to hear about the incident of last year. You have to leave it behind and feel lucky to be alive. One bad incident takes away our faith in humanity.

e2d said...

No mallu channels where I live Rauf.
Good to hear that the ladies were walking freely and enjoying themselves.
Such crowds can contain crazy weird people...in fact not just festivals but sometimes even in the local bus and trains!

Ruth said...

Well you didn't blow up your template, rauf, and that is something I have no clue about. Anyone who can work in html impresses me.

Maybe Ganga is what I've known as Ganges?

Yes, I saw the sweet crook-topped tree there. I love that tree. My my, I am in the world of trees these days, going to post another soon.

Vincent said...

Wonderful, thank you, better than being there in person. I would have been more upset about the elephants' welfare than I am now just seeing the pictures.

Ruth said...

Ohhhhh, look at that wood grain. I like it! I am even more impressed, mr. techno-guru man.

monsoon-dreams said...

rauf,
seems like u know more abt kerala than i do:-).very informative,friend.i'm planning to be home by next month,but i dont think i will get enuff time to go on a tour soon,coz i need to join my job.anyway,i WILL go to the woods,i told u,the one conducted by the govt,and to tamilnadu too,with my freinds.it is in times like these that i wish i were a man so i can roam around freely.but i am glad i wander far more than what an average mallu would do.simple things in life mean a lot.

monsoon-dreams said...

btw,i liked the changes in the template of ur blog:-)

The Manic Street Preacher said...

Life friend across the world eh?

Big time.

Love n hugs mate

Amrita said...

Excellent Rauf.

And I like your script. You write like a TV anchor.

Rauf said...

EEEEEEE E2DEES, My friends in Texas get all the Mallu channels. And you know what E2DEES ? My friends from US call and tell me 'get out of there tomorrow is a bandh'
what Bandh ? i ask

No repeats needed but next time E2DEES, you must witness Aranmula (sept, around Onam)and Nehru trophy Alleppy boat race (around August15)
Few drunks broke into a fight and fell on me. i had no other option but to jump into water holding the camera over my head. Immediately a couple of boys came to my rescue, one of them took my camera, he could have disappeared with my camera leaving me in water. But they pulled me out. And it was pouring in buckets. This happened when the final boat race was going on. There were many women watching. No problems. Presence of just a handful of anti social elements brings insecurity everywhere not just in Kerala.

Rauf said...

Oh No RUTH, i have absolutely no knowledge of HTML. i am just a copy cat.

Yes Ganga is Ganges our sacred River. All rivers are sacred here in India, should be sacred all over the world. Civilisations flourished on the banks of rivers. Indus, Ganges, Euphrates, Tigris, Nile.

I was in a boat when i took this picture very early in the morning, the boat in the picture was going away from Sangam, the meeting place of Ganges and Yamuna rivers and a third mythical river Saraswati.(all three females In Central India we have Narmada and Tapti, female names, In the south we have Godavari (female) Krishna (male) and Cauvery (female)

Rauf said...

oh no VINCENT, being there is magical, pictures give just a glimpse of the festival.

There have been objections to the way the elephants are being treated, most of which fall into deaf ears of the administration. It is a political issue. it is not easy to decide. Few steps have been take to silence the protesters. Hope the treatment will improve in the near future.

Welcome to Daylight Again VINCENT. And Thank you.

Rauf said...

Why do you wish you were a man MONSOON ??. Its easy to travel in Kerala and TN.

Every time i visit Kerala i discover something new and i forget. so my knowledge of Kerala can't be better than yours MONSOON. i have lots of pictures but i can't identify some of the places. i have a very bad memory. Enjoy your visit and Enjoy the Monsoons you've been dreaming of. Walk in the rain but without tears.
only Smiles.....

the template picture is Allahbad Sangam. i was contemplating Alleppy picture with a boat but none taken very early in the morning. Thank you MONSOON.

Rauf said...

yes PREACHER, my friend half way across the world. Very precious to me.

Rauf said...

i am not a sweet person like that Anchor man AMRITA, i'll have to eat myself then.
The TV Anchor man was very polite decent and sweet and i am tastless rude and arrogant. Not a good dish to eat.
Welcome to Daylight Again Amrita.