Sunday, January 14, 2018

Our Streets are Unsafe but can we avoid using them?

Our Streets are unsafe, but can we avoid using them?

Our streets are unsafe for all, especially pedestrians. If you are a senior citizen you are all the more vulnerable.  I include roads and highways when I say streets. The causes or conditions leading to rendering roads unsafe include our selves (human beings), animals and nature itself.

It is becoming extremely difficult to cross even inner streets of a residential area.  It is not just the irritating factor of heavy traffic making you wait for the traffic to subside but also irresponsible vehicle drivers. The other day I was crossing the road when traffic cleared but a bike fellow came in wrong direction and hit me.  Maintenance People cut electric or telephone poles and leave metal stub projections on the ground, which are dangerous for walkers. They trip and fall and break their hips. Residents allow thorny vegetation – bougainvillea for instance – to grow and obstruct walkers right at their eye level.

During rainy season, water flows like river on the streets. You don’t know if you will reach home safe or disappear in a watery grave in uncovered drainage manhole. During Shankranti you may get your throat or leg cut by manja thread. Or during Deepavali you may get hurt by crackers fired without care or caution. But these are seasonal for a day or two. Avoiding stepping on dogs’ shit is a tricky task during morning walk. Dogs prefer to poop in all parts of the street not just the pedestrian pathways. Dog owners have no responsibility or control over their pets. Mad street dogs may bite you too, choosing which part to bite on their own. Streets are dark during night due to non-working street lights and even a torch would not help as roads are uneven filled with debris and other obstructions.

The only way you can avoid trouble to yourself, as Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev says in a different context: Be hundred percent aware of the present. This applies even when you are a street walker.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Review - Ananta Vinayaka - The Elternal God

Book Review: Ananta Vinayaka

Book Review: Ananta Vinayaka: The Eternal God. Original in Telugu authored by Prof V Balamohandas and English version translated by Sri S Vinaya Bhushan Rao.
Published by Vasantha Mohana Foundation, Vishakapatnam. (Ph 0891-2551 1282) 2011. Pages 226 + ten colour plates. Price: Rs 200/-

This book on Lord Vinayaka is a veritable encyclopedia offering a wide variety of information on the God Ganesha. It has one less than sixty chapters. You can find stories about the origin of “elephant god”, his relationship with personages like: Agastiya, Kubera, Talaasura, Parasurama, Vibheeshna, Vyasa, Jambavanta, Avvaiyaar etc. Info on prominent temples of Ganesha in India and abroad are furnished. Methodology of conducting Pujas, Vratams, Prayers are given. The book is an indispensable source for several Naamavalis, stotras and poems. All stories connected with Vinayaka – including the miracle of Ganesha Idols drinking milk in 1995 – are described in detail. Ganesh festival as obtaining in Andhra Pradesh has been described vividly.

It is a book that will help us recover and retain our culture. Senior citizens will find a mine of info to share with their grand children. Ladies’ Bhajan groups will benefit immensely in learning and reciting shlokas and naamavalis. Every newspaper published something or the other on Vinayaka chaturthi . The first place they should look for is here.

Prof Balamohandas, being a management oriented academician, has a passion to lecture on leadership qualities of Vinayaka analyzing his physical features. No wonder he has given 200 plus talks on this topic alone. His entire family members are ardent devotees of Lord Ganesha.  The person who inspired the author to write this wonderful book is Sri YVSR Moorti. We should thank these Trimurthys: Author, Translator and the Inspiration for this literary treasure house on Eternal God – VINAYAKA. I am hopeful of the book becoming eternally useful in times to come.