అన్నతి - అన్నపూర్ణ భారతి
మా ఊరి దేవాలయం బ్రహ్మోత్సవాలలో - గుడిలో దేవుళ్ళ విగ్రహాలు పూలు, అందమైన వస్త్రాలు, వెండి, బంగారు ఆభరణాలు, కర్పూరం, అగరవత్తులు
పరిమళాలు, ప్రత్యేక అలంకరణలతో అలరితే, 'అన్నతి - అన్నపూర్ణ భారతి' - అంటే మా వంట శాల - అక్కడ వాడబడే సహజమైన కూరలు, వస్తువులు, మనిషి చేసిన వస్తువుల తో వంటశాల ఘుమ ఘుమలతో అన్ని వర్గాల వారిని అమితం గా ఆకట్టుకుంటుంది. ప్రొద్దున్నే లేచే పెద్దలకి ప్రత్యేకం గా పెట్టిన కాఫీ ఘాటు, కమ్మటి టీ వాసన లతో మొదలు రాత్రి రధం ఊరేగింపు ముగించుకుని వఛ్చి అలసి పోయిన గ్రామస్థులు, సహాయకులకు చేసిన దోసకాయ పప్పు, క్యాబేజీ కూర, ముక్కల పులుసు, పెరుగు లతో పెట్టె భోజనపు ఆరోగ్యకరమైన వాసనలతో రోజు ముగుస్తుంది.
మా అన్నతి లో జరిగే కోలాహలం పెళ్ళిళ్ళల్లో జరిగే భోజనాల హడావిడికి తీసికట్టు కాదు. ఇంకా చెప్పాలంటే మసాలా వాసనలు ఎంత మాత్రం తెలిసి రావు.
కుంకుమ పువ్వు, ఏలక్కాయలు, ౧౧ రకాల పళ్ళ రసాలు, రోజ్ వాటర్ లాంటి సుగంధ ద్రవ్యాల సువాసనలతో ఒక ఆధ్యాత్మిక భావన ని కలిగిస్తాయనటం
లో ఎంత మాత్రం సందేహం లేదు కూడా.
బ్రహ్మోత్సవాలు రేపు మొదలవుతాయనగా వంటవాళ్లు కోసం అత్యంత ఆత్రం గా ఎదురు చూస్తాము. వాళ్ళు ఊళ్లోకి అడుగు పెట్టారని తెలియంగానే
ఎక్కడ లేని ఆనందం కలుగుతుంది. ఎంత దేవుడి మీద భక్తి శ్రద్ధ లు వున్నా 'ఆత్మా రాముణ్ణి' శాంతింప చేయటం మన ప్రధమ కర్తవ్యమ్ కదా ! వాళ్ళతో
పాటు ఒక మేనేజర్, హెల్పర్స్ అందరూ అక్కడ కనపడితే - హమ్మయ్య, పూర్తి బృందం రెడీ అయ్యింది అని మిగిలిన ఉత్సవ పనుల మీదికి మెదడుని
బృందం ఇంతే అనుకునేరు - కాదండి - అందులోకి ఫ్రెష్ హీరోయిన్స్ లాగా ఫుడ్ రెడీ అయిన సమయానికి ఊళ్లోని ఒక నలుగురు యువతుల బృందం
దిగుతుంది. వాళ్ళు 'అన్నతి' కి తె చ్చి పెట్టే శోభ గురించి వర్ణించాలంటే నేను ఈ బ్లాగ్ ని వేరే రకం గా రాయాల్సి ఉంటుంది. ప్రస్తుతం దీని ఆశయం వేరు కాబట్టి ఈ విషయాన్ని ఇంతటి తో వదిలేస్తాను. వీళ్ళు అతిధి నటుల లాగా ప్రత్యేక పనులలో - లడ్డూలు కట్టటం, ప్యాకింగ్ చేయటం, అభిషేకాలకు పళ్ళ రసాలు తీయటం లాంటి ప్రత్యేక పనులు చేస్తారు.
'అన్నతి' లో వుండే - నీళ్లు, వంకాయలు, అరటికాయలు, సొరకాయలు, ములక్కాడలు, టొమాటోలు లాంటి కూరలు, బియ్యం, పప్పులు, ఉప్పు, రవ్వలు,
పిండ్లు 'లైవ్ ఐటమ్స్' అయితే గిన్నెలు, గరిటెలు, గుండిగలు లాంటివి 'నాన్ లైవ్ ఐటమ్స్', సిలిండర్, స్టవ్ 'ఫైర్ ఐటమ్స్' లాగా నా కంటికి కనిపిస్తాయి. ఇక ఆహార పదార్ధాలు తయారయి వచ్చాక టేబుల్స్ మీద బాసిన్స్ లో బకెట్స్ లో తినటానికి రెడీ అయిన వంటకాలు పెట్టినప్పుడు ఆ ప్రదేశం తినటానికి ఆతృతగా వచ్చే వాళ్ళతో నిండి పోతుంది.
దీనికంటే ఒక్క క్షణం ముందర గుడిలోకి ఒక కబురు వెళుతుంది - భోజనం రెడీ అయ్యింది అని. దాంతో అన్నతి దగ్గరే తచ్చాడుతూ వుండే వాళ్ళు, గుడికి
అన్నతి కి మధ్య తిరగలేక ఈ కబురు ఎప్పుడు వస్తుందా అని ఎదురు చూస్తూ అక్కడే చేతికిల పడిపోయిన వాళ్లందరిలో ఒక్క సారిగా ఉత్తేజం వచ్చేస్తుంది.
మరి సువాసనలు వెదజల్లే భోజనం మనుషుల మీద చూపించే ప్రభావం మహిమ ఋషులని ఊర్వశి, మేనక లు ఉత్తేజ పరచటానికి చేసే పాటల కంటే
ఎన్నోరెట్లు తేలిక అయిన విధానం.
చిన్న పిల్లలని మనం తరిమి తరిమి వాళ్ళ వెంటపడి ఆహారం తినిపించి వచ్చు. అదే యువతి యువకులకు జట్లు జట్లుగా ఆకళ్ళు వేస్తాయి. వాళ్ళు వాళ్ళ
స్వంత ఆకలి ని గుర్తించే స్థితి లో వుండరు. ఈ జట్టు ఆకలికి సమయం, సందర్భం ఏవీ వుండవు. పేళ్ళిళ్ళల్లో వాళ్ళు అందరూ వెళ్ళిపోయాక వస్తారు.
'అన్నతి' లాంటి చోట్ల అలాంటి వాళ్ళు కనబడరు కూడా. ఇక మధ్య వయస్కులకి కబురు అందగానే వీలు చేసుకుని వాళ్ళ ఆహార సమయం మించకుండా వస్తారు. వడ్డనలో సాయం చేస్తారు. అజమాయిషీ చేస్తారు. అందరితో కబుర్లు చెపుతూ భోజన సమయాన్ని కులాసాగా గడుపుతారు.
ఇక పెద్దవాళ్లు - మధుమేహం మూలంగా సాధారణం గా టాబ్లెట్స్ వేసుకోవాల్సిన వాళ్ళు అయి వుంటారు. చేతిలోకి ఆహారం వచ్చిన వెంటనే రెండు ముద్దలు
కడుపులోకి వెళితే తప్ప మామూలు కాలేరు. సమయం ఏ మాత్రం మించిన, ఎవ్వరైనా సరిగా అందించలేక పోయినా వాళ్ళు చిరాకు పడిపోతారు. వాళ్ళ
ఆత్మా రాముడు శాంతించాక అప్పుడు - ఎవర్నైనా దెప్పటం, ఎత్తిపొడవటం, వంటకాల్ని విమర్శించటం, లేక పొగడటం లాంటివి చేయగల స్థితి లోకి
వస్తారు. కాబట్టి వాళ్ళే 'అన్నతి' కి అస్సలైన కస్టమర్స్. 'అన్నతి' లో పెద్ద పీట వాళ్ళకే. మిగిలిన వారు ఈ పెద్దలు పొగిడితే ఆనందిస్తారు; తెగిడితే
చిన్నబుచ్చుకుంటారు. సలహా ఇస్తే వీలుంటే పాటిస్తారు లేకపోతె నవ్వి ఊరుకుంటారు. కానీ వీళ్ళు హడావిడి పెడితే మాత్రం అంతా అప్సెట్
అయిపోతారు. అప్పుడు టీం లో అందరికి ఒకళ్ళ మీద ఒకళ్ళకి చిరాకులు, పరాకులు, కంప్లైంట్స్ అన్నీ పెల్లుబుకుతాయి. మిగిలిన వాళ్లంతా ఎదో
రకం గా అడ్జస్ట్ అవుతారు. కానీ వీళ్ళకి మేము అడ్జస్ట్ అవ్వవలసిందే. కాబట్టి 'అన్నతి' లో పెద్ద పీట వాళ్ళకే.
The pleasant evenings of Pushya maasam - Krishna paksham - Brahmotsavam days
are very active in our village. On one hand one can see elders participating in pooja
activities, but on the other hand one can see many kids of the village playing merrily
in the temple compound. The neat flooring inside temple compound allows them to run and
play without any hurdles or their parents stopping them for fear of their downfall. So,
both sides are left free to engage in their own activities. However, after one has their
heart full, they come together again over 'Hot Prasadam' distributed in small leaf bowls
by the awesome heroins of village. This prasadam could be guggillu / kesari / pulihora /
sweet pongal. Occasionally, mirchi bajji is also served to elders while they are engaged
in group activities not as prasadam but as a snack. The tired kids after play, love this
time as they flock around the prasadam distributors blocking every arrangement made to make
them come in queues. Their outstretched palms seek one more bowl of prasadam while one is
hidden at their back or given away to a friend. They come from front, back, sides stretching
their hands through any hole left open towards the pot bearing the 'hot prasadam'. Some
bowls of prasadam are shared with grand parents, parents, uncles and aunts too who fall
short making into the queue and are left stranded outside the flocking mob. The children
who are able to give a bowl of prasadam to their relatives are praised to heaven by their
kith and kin and are treated as heroes for that day.
Thus our usually sleeping lazy village comes to full life during the Brahmotsavams
How can I complete this blog without mentioning the 'Vasantotsavam' time on the last
day and the community lunch prepared by the villagers for all. Unlike other days it is a different
day when the pooja is all about sprinkling colours on the utsava moorthies first and then
on one another. The entire village breaks into a song and dance times on this day with many
elders from urban areas respectfully give way to the merrily playing people of the village.
I am glad to make a note here that during this last Vasantotsavam, many ladies of the village
shed their shyness and joined the dancing groups by jumping and shaking a leg and hip. I also
have to admit here that they took this inspiration from me as I myself a shy one, for some
special reason break into a dance in my village. I play with the villagers shedding all my
inhibitions in that merry rural atmosphere. This time the administrators provided us with
fast songs and music played through large speakers all bundled and tied together in a vehicle.
This vehicle led the procession of utsava moorthies kept in a hand drawn cart with huge sack
of colour powder made available to all. So, we all played going round the village, came back
had the holy water dip / sprinkle in temple cheruvu / koneru, went into bath rooms, washed
ourselves to the best extent possible, changed into fresh pair of cloths and rushed to have
the communal lunch with hungry stomachs. We sat along with villagers, and ate the lunch
prepared and served by them - though the food smell had a lot of 'masala' content, the food
itself along with the sweet was heavenly.
The villagers urge us to come back for every festival celebrated inside and outside
our temple premises. But for me the loving memories of these 5-days of Brahmotsavams are the
best and I look forward to them for the next year. My sharing these with you makes them
all the more charming.
Dr NALINI mSIS on Muggu designs during Dhanurmaasam
Last few days I have been watching lots of debates and articles in media like television, newspapers, radio; many have been discussing these too; men seemed to have designed lots of sports and games for only themselves totally around adventure, bravery, fights, speed, heavy weights and aggressive animals. Yes, I do believe that they are very good for them; since time immemorial, we have learnt to tame aggressive animals, domesticated them and learned to co-exist with them by fending for them. They have their own eco system managed by human beings. True, their numbers are dwindling alarmingly; but it is also true that when they are made ready to fight or entertain like in a circus they are looked after better compared to their strayselves.
I doubt if we can create safe habitats for all animals in this world. But, considering that those in forests are safe and are able to live full lives, an alternate habitat is definitely state-run or private zoos. I suppose, here animals are looked after well for study purpose, entertainment or even systematic killings for food. And hopefully organizations studying zoology are able to work out these eco systems.
Now, why on earth women did not create any such eco systems for study, entertainment or even systematic destruction ? They never needed I suppose. But if this question looms large in young business minds - you may like to look at the 'MUGGU-based' system. So far they have nothing to do with living creatures. We are already doing
- many types of them
- dots, lines, curves
- innumerable patterns
- all types of colours can be used
- different types of materials can be used
- a whole lot of fashion-wear and clothing is influenced by them
- even small tools are used to make them perfectly
- they are drawn as design pattern for decoration of walls, paints, et al
Then why not our software engineers create a computer-based software program to make them or machinize them ?
This is purely an Indian system.
An innovative film director has made ace car drivers draw R on road; can someone make animals do these designs ?
We have had some serious Rangoli competitions too; but nothing like the Jallikattu type or even cock-fights of Sankranthi type ?
Why can't people bet on Rangoli teams to make them come up with marvellous implementations - measured for time, quality, space, beauty, colour usage or even drawn by animals or computer programs or by physically challenged people ? Yes, I am aware that there are some great artists among physically challenged people but they are very few.
The point here is one does not have to have games that kill animals - but there can be few other means for entertainment due to which they are looked after well.
If a market system is a refined way of rewarding those who excel in innovation or service, betting is akin to it, but it does not have the refined scientific system for it. Does it take too long for educated people to make it a scientific system ? In such a drive, let us not forget those trades very special to ladies.
Update to the above upon Comments from Community:
'Muggu-based system' is only referred as a sample art form. There are many art forms in India and all over the world too such as Songs, Music, Drawing, Painting, Dancing and such others which are already very popular; though they do not have equity market system or betting systems for big money they have decent support systems. It is high time we started designing and implementing market systems for all those based on an acceptable scientific criterion for all types of people categories.
My Tour in the Temple (Tamil) Nadu
Any place when not visited physically appears mystical; its lure to draw us and make us visit it is all due to our imagination of that place and of course conditions that facilitate it. Isn't this what we refer to as 'designer yaatra' ?
One fine day, a relative of ours staying in Srirangam casually invited me to visit their place upon connection in facebook. I just lunged upon the chance. I appreciated it the Nth time when my subdued self made me take up a tour of a small part of the Temple (Tamil) Nadu without any companion during 2016-17 Dhanur maasam. I quickly booked my tickets, contacted them in Srirangam, informed them about my journey dates to visit Srirangam and few nearby temples like Chidambaram, Madurai and Arunachalam. The gentleman kindly accepted my sojourn and devised a program for my tour of the place and informed me of the same over phone the next day.
I was all agog to visit Srirangam in dhanur maasam - imagining that I could see ladies decked up like Godadevi on elephants with sepoys accompanying her and brahmins inviting her into the temple. Vague idea of Telugu film 'Vipra Naarayana', few stories of Srirangam and few websites content influenced my thinking then. I requested my relative to guide me to a tour operator to take up visit of other temple cities. Few days before the journey date, I was pleasantly surprised to be informed by a relative couple of my age that they will receive me in Tiruchirappalli railway station and will take me around all the temples that I want to see. They are the immediate relations to the family in Srirangam. Though the thrill of going on my own was lost, I was very happy to have native Tamilian couple helping me go around temples.
Once I reached, we took up a whirlwind tour of the following temples:
1st day -
Ranganatha Swamy temple
Lakshmi Nrusimha Swamy temple
2nd day -
Nataraja Swamy temple
3rd day -
Maha maha kulam
4th day -
Vattakadai – Yoga Narasimhan temple
Meenaakshi amman, Sundareswarar temple
5th day -
Subramanya swamy temple
Rock fort – Vinayagan, Siva, Parvati temples
6th day -
I thank my relatives profusely who gave me this wonderful tour gift in the year 2016.
A few words otherwise -
The list above might look very impressive to anyone who does not know how mighty the Temple Nadu temples are. We could cover 13 of them in 6 days, travelled by our own transport and had a very pleasant journey all the way not missing breakfast, lunch, snacks or dinner. But, anyone who knows how huge these temples are, will definitely wonder if we have seen them properly at all. Not sure, if I can answer this query well -
but compared to the size of Srirangam I felt the main deity is quite small; I expected the Lord's deity to be very very big
it was the same case in Vaithiswaram, Jambukeswarar, Madurai, Palani and Arunachalam
neither the temples nor the area near the main deity are brightly lit so that the Bhakthas can have a good, satisfying view of the deities
only small oil lamps were kept near the deities that too in a position that do not make me understand if I am seeing Perumal or Andaal deities
we even met with a small accident in Vaithiswaram, when I stepped on the last visible step of the pond, my foot slipped on the thick moss (surprisingly it was in brown colour and I felt it was the stone shade) I just got drawn into the pond's water, nearly drowned; since we were holding hands luckily I did not drown; we just stayed floating for a minute when few other Bhakthas came running to us and lifted us from the pond. My hand bag became completely wet and 3 of my small mobile phones went bad. But luckily, my new power bank continued to work.
these temples badly need maintenance; it is anybody's guess why they are kept in such dilapidated state; they are so huge that only kings can actually maintain them well; the number of Bhakthas visiting them are simply not enought to maintain them well
the associated artesans and traders at these temples also seem to be not having good revenue as the surroundings and the temple towns did not appear to be maintained well at all
I wish the corporate world of Tamil Nadu realises that the heritage of these temples far outweighs their achievements in every way. The 36000 strong industrial world of this mighty Temple Nadu neglected this huge treasure and went about building the modern industry. It augurs well for the smart populace and intelligentia of this Temple Nadu to accept that this is a treasure they cannot afford to neglect. They will not find renovation of these places being addressed in any western books or education systems.
Now the question is – will they spare their efforts to take up maintenance of these mighty monuments ? If they do not do it, my opinion of Templians is going to take a huge beating.
Gift of Companionship during my Temple Tour in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu and Temples are synonyms. I heard people describing them to superlative degree; I myself visited few of them in Chennai and Kancheepuram but their hugeness never really struck me. The impact was never big enough for me to recall those memories too often.
Last year, I had one more opportunity to go on a temple tour along with a couple in close family, their two sons, their wives and the lady's mother. Now you must have got an idea of each of their age groups. We were traveling 2 to 3 hundred kilometers at a stretch to reach our temple destinations. Unlike the foreign visitors, in India, we do not believe in carrying a map, discussing the route, guiding the vehicle driver to take a preferred route in a venture mode. The hired vehicle driver is normally an experienced person who would have gone on these routes many-a-time in his career; so we inform our touring places to the cab agency, request for an experienced driver, settle all charges and bingo - get ready to travel. Thus we started on our journey.
A little way down, all 3 charming couples started murmuring to their better-halves in low tones.
Then, I decided to have some fun in my style and whipped up a quick-quiz on social studies. Starting with geography of our route it quickly got morphed into a mythological one. Me being the quiz master and not knowing much about our route did not augur too well for many questions on geography. But persistence paid dividends as the young couples woke up to the brain-pricks and started answering them enthusiastically with lots of jokes and fun with each other. The grandmother too chipped in with answers for some tough questions. The elderly couple did not participate at all even on poke, as they were keenly waiting to hear their sons answer first before the daughters-in-law could answer.
The elder son was very quiet throughout whereas the younger one was a jumping jack attempting to answer every question and succeeding with quite a few. The elder son was sitting very tight during this pandemonium; he even heaved a huge sigh of great relief when I called it off finally. I used to sit like that next to my daughter when she first tried her hand at driving my car. My nerves used to get taut with the anxiety that she might hit anyone any time as she steered the wheel awkwardly tilting to one side. Now I know why the elder son became taut as I started my quiz - he was afraid that his relatives might not be able to answer my clever questions; he did sit very awkwardly throughout and relaxed only when it all got over.
The tour was a very pleasant one with all of us putting in our thoughtful step forward to make it enjoyable for one another.
Through this article I would like to appeal to all fellow-travel enthusiasts - "we have inherited great culture and made it big in Music Industry with melodious Filmi Music and soulful Carnatic and Hindustani Music. Our temples are the architectural wonders of our ancient world. No one else in the entire world has such great monuments left behind by their ancestors as a symbol of life in olden days. Why don't we turn our critical eye to them now and do a magic there too ? We are fully equipped with the knowledge of science, technology, engineering, marketing, sales, and most of all the thought processes to achieve this now. Do you agree ?
Please ... please ... for heaven's sake let us make them the mighty destinations they can be to appeal to every enthusiast about knowing Indian culture.
We have our Unique Selling Points here dearies.