Navigated away?

  • It was 5:45 in the evening, I had finished typing the my thoughts in the blogger editor. Having logged on to yahoo messenger and Gtalk, I set my status on Gtalk "Updating blog" and forgot to set the same status on yahoo. As a result, one of my friend who noticed my status "Available" on Yahoo buzzed me. I pressed some other keys. A pop up appeared "Do you want to navigate away from this page? If YES click OK, else click CANCEL." By mistake I clicked OK. I was awe stuck as the editor where I typed the whole thoughts for an hour vanished in a couple of second. All was gone. I felt very pathetic that I had to redo it once again. I did type the same devoting an hour more!

    I felt that rather than using the blogger editor, there are various ways to post to the blogger. Each one provides some features: saving the draft on the local hardisk/desktop, retrieving the photos from flickr or photobucket et cetera, et cetera.


  • The default one is to log on to blogger, type in the editor, upload the photos or even copy and paste html code. Finally, publish your post.
  • Download blogger bot.
  • Download google's Picasa. Scan all the photos in your local disk and finally upload it on your blog. This is a better choice if you are uploading photos.
  • Sign up Yahoo's flickr, provide the appropriate credentials. Click on a photo, provide some writeup if you wish to and then publish. Or else click on a photo according to the required dimension, copy and paste the code into the blogger editor.
  • Download the browser: Flock. You can draft the post offline and publish while you are connected.
  • Download Windows Live Writer. For this, you should have signed up Windows live mail using your Hotmail account. Provide the credentials. Pen down your thoughts and publish.
  • Try writely.com i.e. Google's docs and spreadsheet. Access it from anywhere. It saves all the docs periodically as we type.

I've tried all of the above. Have you?

Tell me your dreams

Sudipta tagged me: I am supposed to write 3 of my dreams which are bizarre and tag 5 people to share their bizarre dreams. During school days, I had weird dreams and soometimes even fell down from the bed and hurt myself. Mom used to place a pillow next to me so that I wouldn't fall. At times, my dreams were so frightening that I ran to my mom with tears rolling down my cheeks.

1. This dream, I had long back while I was in primary school: My parents had been out for the day. My neighbouring friend and me, tired of playing the same old outdoor sport decided to watch a horror movie at her home. Her parents had been out. We were accompanied by 4-5 more kids who happened to be her siblings and her cousins. As we watched the movie, some started weeping, some yelling out of fear, some buring head below the pillow. I still remember the whole saga. After dinner, without uttering a word to my parents that I had watched a horror movie, went to my bed. I closed my tiring eyes, heard chair moving back and forth, a moving shadow at the window, dogs barking, telephone ringing and at the same time someone knocking the door, yelling my name, compelling me to open the door. I walk towards the main door, as I open the door a long-haired lady wrapped in a white sari, her back towards me slowly turned and caught hold of my neck. Well, I couldn't notice her face.

Aah, Don't be scared. It was just a dream. I'm still alive!

2. This one is one of the oldest dream during school. I had watched Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. Then went to sleep: I was busy with my assignments and mom calls me for dinner. I arrange the books in the shelf. Since my fountain pen was running out of ink I dip it in the huge ink pot. Beside the ink pot, I see the two tiny people of lilli puts waving their hands at me. I was stuck in awe. I pick them up and start staring at them. They expalined to me how they were lost from their community and found their way here!!! We conversed well and thus became good companions. I got them food and tiny clothes. It was like: Life injected into the dolls. I was very happy with those tiny creatures. No one knew their presence in my room.

Hope I meet them again in my dreams.

3. A couple of years ago, had been to the famous Crocodile Park in Chennai. It was rather amusing to see so many varieties of well-nourished hundreds and thousands of crocodiles with mouth wide opened craving for their prey. That night in my dreams I happen to be the one and the only one to hold a long crocodile in my hands, grinning and posing for a snap among the crowd. And the whole crowd happen to appreciate me for my braveness. Yes, you read it correct. Don't rub your eyes.

Bravo me!!! Weird dream.

As per the tag, I should tag 5 people to share their bizarre dreams. Tell me your dreams:

Reunion

It had been almost half an year that I had met my old friends. Last Saturday, a friend of mine invited me for her betrothal ceremony which was on the very next day. Only six of us could make it up. unday, had been to one of my friends. As each of us met, we spoke of the old lasting memories spent at college and also discussed how the current work is going on. We spoke for hours together. There were many artistic stuffs made from dry cocunuts, dolls... Found these things to be exotic. Hence compelled one of my friend, Bhavya to capture them in her phone.

Dolls

Mehendi

Pellucid waters of the mind

Well, This post is a continuation of one of the older posts: Name does matter. Till now, I knew that my name only means Mind. After Sudipta commented on the older posts that "Manasa" is a Goddess of Snakes, I googled and found out that complete amusing fact about my name. When I concluded reading the various meanings about my name, I had an unusual feeling; a moment of ecstasy. Who wouldn't be happy after discovering so many facts?

Many people whom I've met question me out of enthusiam: "Nice name, who named you?", "Well, what does Manasa mean literally?" These questions are too common to me. Every 99/100 people put forth this question. I answer them with utmost patience, "My dad chose that name. He liked that name. Manasa means 'mind'", with a smile. That time I knew that Manasa meant only mind to the best of my knowledge. The reason my dad named me was that I was born to my parents after many years of their marriage. Mom worshipped Lord Shiva and I was born. My parents took me to a temple on the eleventh day of my birth, when the priest asked what was the child's name: Dad told "Manasa". He had decided that name the day I was born. Sometime long ago, I questioned my dad why he chose that name? He explained that there is a lake in Mount Kailasa: An adobe of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi, the place they adore the most and the lake "Manasa Sarovar" is known for the purity, crystal clear water, the water purifies mind and soul.

Some of the amazing facts go here:






Manasarovar

Manasa-sarovar (maanasa-sarovara) - Pellucid waters of the mind.

Lake Mansarovar is a majestic Gift of Lord Brahma - the Creator God which came straight from his Mind i.e. Manas in Sanskrit so as per the legend name is Mansarovar. The sprawling lake lies below Holy Kailasa The Abode of Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati in Western Tibet 4560 Meters above sea level with an approximate area of 320 Sq. Kms. It is indeed one of the holiest & most revered lake in the Universe for Hindus/Jains & Buddhist alike. The circumference of Lake is 90 Kms. & takes approximately Three Hours to cover the Parikrama (circumambulation) by 4WD Jeeps. First Sight of the Holy Lake takes away all the hardships & sufferings of the pilgrims & revives the mind & soul. A ritual Bath at Mansarovar is considered to attain Moksha and a drink of it’s water relinquish.

Holy Manasarovar in the form of dark blue waters is the most beautiful, fresh water wonder lake at around 15,000 ft altitude – at the sight of it, the mind dances with wonder and ecstasy said Sri Swami Tapovanam. Manasarovar is to the south of Kailash mountain. A bath in it is stated to take one to Brahma loka and to Shiva loka – as per Ramayana. It’s water is very sweet and said to posses medicinal properties. It is about four million years old. In skanda purana, it is stated that the lake was created out of Brahma’s mind. Hence it is called Manasa Sarovar. Sanaka, Sanandana and other maharishis performed tapas here. It appears Buddha’s mother dreamt before Buddha’s birth, a white elephant from Kailas mountain entering her womb. Daily at Brahma Muhurth time, they say Devatas come down and take bath, especially on the northern side. Some people can even see the Devatas in the shape of the stars descending into the lake and go back. Gandhi’s ashes have been mixed in these waters. It is said Arjuna is said to have received his pasupathastra here.

“Feeling that the purpose of my birth had been accomplished, I congratulated myself on my good fortune” – So wrote Swami Tapovan Maharaj in his famous book – Wanderings in the Himalayas.

“I could live and die on this heavenly lake without ever growing weary of the wonderful spectacle always presenting fresh surprises” – So wrote the famous Swedish traveler, Swen Hedin, who traveled over the region in 1907, recording the boundless joy of his wonderful experience.





Mount Kailash

Goddess of Snake

Before getting on with this very interesting tale of religion and romance it is necessary to say a few words about Manasa, the Hindu goddess who plays a major role in it. In most ancient Hindu religious texts; Manasa is said to be the daughter of Kasyapa, a famous sage, and Kadru, the sister of the serpent-king Sesha. Unlike her uncle, Manasa is still actively worshipped as a goddess who protects and saves humans from snake-bites. Her cult is most prevalent in Bengal where she is ceremoniously worshipped in temples. She is also attributed with the powers of curing infectious diseases like small-pox and of bringing wealth and prosperity. At the onset of the rainy season, when the snakes are most active, she is ritually invoked with sacrifices and offerings. She is probably a pre-Aryan goddess but this tale is of more recent vintage and comes from Bengal where she is most revered and tells how she gained recognition for herself as a potent member of the Hindu pantheon.

Not too long ago, in the fair and lovely land of Bengal, there lived a rich merchant named Chand. He was blessed with six sons but was, unfortunately a widower. Nevertheless he was always attentive to his sons' needs and they never felt the absence of a mother in their lives. They all lived in a beautiful mansion surrounded by colorful gardens nestling by the curvaceous banks of the Ganges. Chand was a devout worshipper of Shiva. He was so ardent in his devotions that he refused to acknowledge any other god or goddess. Manasa heard of this. At that time she had no devotees on earth and she became determined to force Chand to offer worship to her and become her first follower. Since Chand was well-known and widely respected she was sure that if she could get him to worship her other people would follow and she would soon have a large number of devotees. So Manasa approached Chand and ordered him to offer worship to her. Chand was not impressed with the goddess's demand. He ignored her and insulted her, calling her an ugly, black, one-eyed witch who ate frogs. He absolutely refused to give up worship of such a sweet lord as Shiva for a miserable creature like her.



Manasa was furious and, in retribution, dsestroyed Chand's beautiful gardens but Chand had been granted magical powers by Shiva and, with these, rebuilt his gardens instantly. So Manasa devised a new plan to ensnare Chand. She transformed herself into a beautiful maiden and appeared before Chand. Chand was a widower and was enchanted by the beauty of the maiden. He resolved to make her his bride and, without delay, approached her with his marriage proposal. The disguised Manasa was overjoyed with her success and very shrewdly told Chand that she would agree to become his wife if only he conceded his magical powers to her. Chand was so charmed by Manasa's outward appearance that he readily agreed and they were married with great pomp and glory. As soon as this was done, on their wedding night, when Chand approached his new bride, Manasa revealed her true self. She demanded, as before, that Chand forsake Shiva and take up worshipping her. Though greatly shocked Chand was adamant and absolutely refused to worship someone he thought of as the ugly snake woman. This angered Manasa even further and she destroyed Chand's gardens again. This time, as Chand had bequeathed his magical powers to Manasa, he could not rebuild them again. Yet he would not give in to the goddess's demand.


The infuriated goddess now resolved to torment Chand till he would agree to succumb to her wishes. First she had each of Chand's sons, one by one, to get bitten by poisonous snakes. They all died. When Chand still did not submit to her she had his cargo-laden ships capsized. He himself was cast away on a solitary island and he had to overcome a great number of hardships before he could get back home. Still he refused to become his devotee. He started his life all over again. Of all his near and dear ones there was no-one left. This caused him great sorrow but, with great perseverance and industry, Chand rebuild his fortunes and regained his former eminence in the community. He remarried and, soon, a son was born to him. With immense love and affection Chand named him Lakhinder.


The years passed gently and Lakhinder grew up to be a handsome young lad. Everyone loved him for his sweet nature. Chand began to look around for a suitable bride for him. Ultimately he chose Beulah, a lovely girl who he thought would make the perfect match for his son. The couple was betrothed and the wedding date was fixed. Manasa, who had not yet given up her resolve to subdue Chand, heard of this and approached him and again demanded that he give up worship of Shiva and become her follower. As usual Chand refused and Manasa grew furious at his insolence. She threatened him that if he did not do she wanted she would have his son Lakhinder bitten by a poisonous snake on his wedding night but Chand was not one to be easily intimidated. He began building a room made entirely of metal in which he resolved that Lakhinder would spend his wedding night with his bride Beulah.

No snake would ever be able to get into the thoroughly sealed metal cabin. Manasa heard of his plan and appeared before the architect who was to build the metal bridal chamber. She was terrible to look at and was known to be vengeful and bad-tempered. The architect was easily intimidated by her reputation and when she told him that she wanted him to leave a small hole in the door of the metal chamber he fearfully agreed. So Lakhinder's bridal chamber was built. From the outside it look invulnerable but the architect had, in mortal fear of Manasa, left a small hole at the bottom of the only door.

The wedding of Lakhinder and Beulah took place as scheduled with appropriate ceremony. Chand did not spare any effort or money to make the wedding of his only son and heir a memorable event in that part of the country. After the ceremonies and celebrations were over and it was night the bridegroom and bride were led into the metal chamber and Chand himself locked the door from outside. Night fell and the couple, thinking that they were safely ensconced in that impregnable room, observed their first rites of love. Soon after, Lakhinder fell asleep but Beulah lay awake for some time. She was nervous and alert despite the reported security of the room and her fears soon proved to be true. A snake came slithering into the room through the hole in the door. She offered it a dish of milk and it was so grateful for this favor that it left the room without harming her husband.

After this snake after snake slipped into the room through the small aperture the architect had left but Beulah offered each a dish of milk and each went away without harming Lakhinder. At last, however, Beulah could stay awake no more. She was too tired after the day's festivities. Soon after she fell asleep another snake slipped into the room and bit Lakhinder and went away. His cries of pain wakened the entire house but no-one could help. He died, as Manasa had threatened he would if Chand did not obey her command.

It was the custom in the Bengal of that time to set afloat on the river the bodies of persons who had died from snake-bites. Though the custom may seem strange there was logic in it. It was the general belief that a person who had died from snake-bite still had life within his or her body and it needed only an expert snake-charmer to bring such a person back to life.

Thus the dead body was not cremated. It was set afloat on the river in the hope that a snake-charmer may see it and help bring it back to life. So a raft was built and the grief-stricken father arranged for his son's last rites. When the body was ready to be placed on the raft and set afloat Beulah expressed the wish that she too would accompany her husband's dead body on its last voyage. She said that she had come to love him too much to be separated from him even by death. So she too was placed on the raft with Lakhinder's dead body and the raft was set afloat on the surging waters of the broad Ganges.

The raft, with Beulah and the dead body of Lakhinder, drifted down the river for many days and many miles till it reached the estuary where the river met with the sea. This place, The Sunderbans (Beautiful Forests), was a network of distributaries that spread like an intricate cobweb through dense mangrove forests. Very few people lived here as fresh water was scarce. Here, at a bathing place, Beulah saw a washerwoman washing clothes. Her little child was there on the bank and he was crying bitterly, probably demanding something or other. He kept crying till, at length, she became incensed with his tantrums gave him such a hard slap that he died on the spot. Beulah was amazed at this but said nothing. The raft had got struck in a maze of mangrove roots and Beulah could do nothing but sit and watch the woman perform her daily chore. When the woman had finished washing all the clothes she got onto the bank and spread them on the grass to dry. Then she went over to the dead body of her son and sprinkled some water on his face. Beulah was amazed to see that the boy got up and, smiling, took his mother's hand and they both started to walk away.

Beulah realized that the woman was no ordinary mortal and had magical powers and she saw an opportunity in this of reviving her dead husband and called after the washerwoman. She got out of the raft and went up to the woman and told her what had happened to her husband. She pleaded with her asking her to revive her husband as she had done her own child. Actually, the woman had been sent by Manasa to work her miracle with the child before Beulah so that she would be induced to seek her help. Manasa's plan worked and when Beulah asked the woman to help her she immediately led her to the goddess.

When Beulah reached Manasa's abode and asked for her blessing in bringing back her husband to life the goddess told her what she had done. She told Beulah that she was willing to bring Lakhinder back to life only on one condition. That was, that Beulah went back and converted Chand, her father-in-law, to her worship. Beulah readily agreed and, accordingly, Manasa revived Lakhinder. Beulah was overjoyed and, together, husband and wife asked for Manasa's blessings and set off for their home on the same raft that had been used for the terrible journey with Lakhinder's lifeless body.

When they reached home Beulah told her father-in-law about Manasa's condition and that the goddess had threatened to have Lakhinder bitten by a snake if Chand did not obey her. Faced by the pleading eyes of his beautiful daughter-in-law Chand's resolve broke at last. He agreed to offer worship to Manasa but he compromised and, during the rites of worship, used only his left hand to perform the ceremonies.

Nevertheless, Manasa was pleased and she blessed Chand and his family with peace and prosperity. Her fame on earth was also established after this story spread and many devotees thronged to her altar. Manasa became a goddess to be feared and revered.



I wish I visit that lake in my lifetime. It means so much to me.

And regarding the "Goddess of snake", wouldn't it be fun to scare guys?

Malgudi Days

Last Saturday, I was googling to find one of the videos. Having it would be a great collection or rather say life time collection. Finally, I found it. Yes, one of my favourite TV show: Malgudi Days on Google Videos after a long time. It was a moment of ecstasy to find them. During school days, I enjoyed watching Malgudi Days: Swami and His Friends on Doordarshan. Little Swaminathan played by Manjunath always being scolded by his father ; his father, Sreenivasan: a lawyer played by Girish Karnad, his friends circle being Somu, Mani, Sankar, Samuel and Rajam. Little Swami used to narrate the whole incidents took place at school to his granny after reaching home. It catapult me to my childhood pranks. The whole serial was shot in Shimoga District. Malgudi, being a fictious town situated on the shore of river Sarayu(Neither exists Malgudi nor the river Sarayu).The serial was later broadcasted on Sony Television. If you are a die hard fan of R.K. Narayan and Malgudi Days, you'll enjoy a few videos for sure!!! Don't miss it. Since the videos are not in WMP format, I downloaded Google Video Player. Malgudi Days left an incredible mark on the audience. Watch it once, you'll watch it again and again. Hats off to the writer as well as director. Some of the videos which I downloaded :



A Hero
Leela's friend
Old man of Temple
A Hoard
Seventh House
A horse and two goats
The missing mail
Apart from those videos on Google. I found many other episodes here. For more info on short stories,click here. Some more collections are the title track and E-book: Swami and His Friends.

Who would go out on a weekend after finding such a treasure?

Happy Weekend!