First time on Explore :)

Originally uploaded by ~manasa~

One of the photos I uploaded was on flickr explore on May 13th. Explored Rank: #54

I'm on cloud 9 ;)


13 April 08:
I visited the Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi along with six shutterbugs. I had heard that Lepakshi is also famous for the saree prints.
Lepakshi, situated in Ananthapur District, is around 15km from Hindupur and 100km North from Bangalore. The route to Lepakshi is very bad, NH being a dusty bad road along a stretch of 20km+ in the midway.
Journey begins:
As planned before, we had an intention of reaching Lepakshi we started off at 5am, reached there only at 9:30. On the way, at Devanahalli, we were able to capture the sunrise. Due to the badly maintained National Highway, we were able to reach the temple at 9:30 which indeed is a long journey duration for 100km. While we had almost reached, on the way we had poori with saagoo and chutney as our breakfast at a small hotel.
Story 1:

Jataayu meets Lord Rama in Aranya Kanda of Ramayana, when Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana are heading towards Panchvatee to stay there after visiting Agastya Muni. In fact Agastya Muni advised them to go and stay there.
Jataayu was a vulture and was Raja Dashratha's friend. He helped Rama by fighting Ravana when he was abducting Sita. While fighting with Ravana, Ravana cut his wings and he fell down helpless. He could not do anything more to Ravana since he couldn't fly any more. Lord Rama says,"Le, pakshi" (Le-get up, pakshi-bird in Telugu). Later he lost his life after telling the incident of abduction of Sita by Ravana to Rama.
Hence the name, Lepakshi.
Story 2:
The temple is considered to belong to the Viayanagar style of architecture. It is also believed that 'Virupanna', the treasurer of the Vijayanagar Kings, constructed the temple in the absence of the king and used the all the treasure while the king was away at Vijayanagar.
Later, when the construction was almost finished and it was being supervised, the king returned and found the treasure empty. The king ordered, as a punishment to this heinous crime, that he should be blinded.
Virupanna blinded himself by dashing against the wall and hence the name "Lepa-akshi", a village of the blinded eye.
At the temple:
Photography is allowed without any fee in the temple premise provided that its not used for commercial purpose. One finds pillars lined up including and without the roofs, mural paintings on the roof, Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva with a big snake over his head, huge Basava(bull) .. and the amusing floating pillar which supports the ceiling. The carvings on each stone pillar had a unique story if carefully observed.
The pillars without the roof is the Kalyana Mantap and believed that Lord Shiva and Parvati were married here. You find thousands of carvings on the stone pillars like "Thula Bhara", "ladies looking into the mirror", "Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana", et cetera.
expressionPillar behindLord Ganesh
On the way to the temple, there's a huge Nandi which is considered to be monolith. Other monolith is Lord Shiva at the temple.
People say that we should enter the main temple to which Lord Virabhadra faces the entrace. Instead, side way entrance is recommended. Well, I don't know the reason for this!
Other places on the way:
At 2:30pm, we left the temple premise had snacks as our lunch since there are no good restaurants near-by. If you wish to have delicious lunch, then you should head towards Hindupur which is 15km from Lepakshi.
Later, we headed headed towards Sultanpet-British Cemetry and Pottery which are on the way. Nandi Hills was the other option. The impression I had of British Cemetry was that it was a very huge graveyard, as I had seen in a few English or Hindi movies. When I reached there, there were less than ten graves who were resting in peace :) The very first tomb was Queen Elizabeth followed by few others. The graves are two century old. I kinda liked it. It wasn't scray at all :)) In fact, they were friendly to us..
British Cemetry
There is a pottery town next to the cemetry. Since it was already 5pm, due to low light, I was not able to capture pot making very well.
At 6:30pm, we left the place and headed to Namma Bengaluru. We had evening snacks at a hotel on the high way. I reached home at 9 in the night due to heavy traffic.
More pics: here



They say "Love is everywhere".
I find it even on the US postage stamp :)

The stamp was sealed in 1989. It has been with me for the past 19 years.

Though photography is my new profound hobby, I had loads of other hobbies before. One of them being-philately. Philately and numismatics were the two hobbies which aspired me the most since I was a kid and the reason being my dad, who had a huge collection of stamps and coins. I would say my collections were meagre compared to his set of rare ones :(

I hardly see anyone with unique hobbies like collecting stamps or coins or keychains, et cetera. It is a treat to see these small collections after years and capture them :))

Jewel Box

Jewel box
This was a wedding gift from my dad to my mom. He had purchased it from Madras(now Chennai). I love the design of the musical instruments on it. Artistic work, isn't it?
A couple of years ago, when my mom was arranging few of her jewels, I was impressed and grabbed from her. But I never used it fearing that frequent usage may damage the design and preserved it carefully. Whenever my mom sees it, it brings a smile on her face :)

Right to vote

I casted my vote in the Karnataka Assembly Elections. The process of searching my name in their list was a heck. The voting slip was issued to a few. Some of my neighbours and myself hadn't been issued the voting slips though we already owned the Voters Card. A day before, my dad had taken a printout from the website for this reason.

We went along with the printout and told them that we weren't issued any voting slips and gently showed them the voters card. They searched our names in their huge booklet and finally found the names.

At the desk, I told the first person sitting: "We were not issued the voting slips. We have the voters card and here's the number." He noted number on another pink slip gave it to me. I was annoyed the way that fellow questioned me-"Whats your age? Have you voted before or is it the first time you're voting?" Crap!!! Why the hell he wants my age? Hadn't I been 18, I wouldn't have been issued the Voters card to vote! ..why does he want to know if I had voted before or not? I remained silent, went ahead, signed in their register. A lady, with the tiny ink bottle applied the ink on my index finger. The length of the ink being half an inch, maybe. She reset the electronic voting machine for each new person. I went ahead and cast my vote.

After coming home, I kept looking at the ink on my index finger. It was still "light blue". I tried to rub it while it was wet and it didn't vanish ;) Today morning, I checked my finger and the ink color had turned black. I asked my dad repeatedly, when this mark would disappear. I guess it may take a week or so!

As far whom I cast my vote, it will be confidential and it should. There are several things which shouldn't be questioned and cannot be answered ;)

On TV, for first time!

Today, May 3rd, five years ago along with bunch of college friends appeared on a TV show and grabbed the award. All seven of us were totally excited. We appeared on a Kannada program - ETV Vedike :)
Five years ago, ETV organised this program,Vedike, between the two colleges/schools and hence approached most colleges in and around the city. The events were
1. group dance
2. group song
3. fashion show
Our seniors selected a song from "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam"-Dhol Bhage and hired the costumes. We, as juniors admired them for such dedication and hard work. We had decided a group song since most of us had practised classical music. But what do we sing-film song or a classical or ....? After much confusions, hesitations and dilemma, as to which song to be sung, we-a group of seven gals, decided to sing a song by Da Ra Bendre-Bangaara Neera Kadalaache which all of us agreed to. Last, but not the least, was the Fashion Show which was only traditional and no western. Our preparation was strong in a less time, say a week.
Finally, the day approached. The organizers arranged for the pick and drop facility. Pick up from college to the studio which is at Nandini Layout and drop to home or at the nearest possible location.
May 3rd, 2003 was a saturday. Phew, what a memorable day! Today, is also a saturday :)
Usually, we had classes till 11:30am on satudays. On this day, none of us had least interest in attending the class or even listening to the lectures. We bunk the classes, went backyard to practice the song. Also dragged few other friends and sung before them for their opinion. The tempo was perfect. We had mixed emotions: happy and tensed.
At around 2pm, we reached the studio. We were told that we would be informed when our turn begins and we should be ready. Since we were into singing, we did not have much to make up or change. We washed our face with the face wash followed by a light makeup. And all of a sudden, there wasn't a single drop of water in the tap. We managed with the sufficient water which we had taken in our water bottles. The green room was occupied by those who would participate in dance and fashion show while we happily roamed around the campus and eagerly watched :) We also entered the studio with the stage where a competition between other two colleges went on. We had already learnt that there were around 3-5 competitions in a single day with a different judge for the same program. The most interesting thing was the studio had NO roof and bamboo support was provided high up and it was as hot as being  in a furnace.
The lunch was offered by them. To be honest, I didn't like it. It would call it "stale" or we called it-jail food :) Since all of us were hungry, there was no other go rather than eating it :( While we eat in groups, we discussed how these anchors would have them every day.  Money could bring you fame and wouldn't bring many things in life--say good food, health, smile and even sound sleep :)
We had lot of time to practise and we did. Sometime, in the noon we were sent a word that our performance would commence. The host was Reena and judge was Nagendra Shah. The first round was dance by both the competitors. While they danced on the stage we danced down as audience in our own way ;) Later, followed by group song and concluded with fashion show. Performers were the audiences when we weren't on stage.
After those three rounds was the most awaited result. Guess, we WON. Yippee! The judge, Nagendra Shah, appreciated our pick-the song by Da Ra Bendre and he enjoyed it :) We were overwhelmed :D 
As our turn concluded, all of us were eager to know when the show would be telecast on TV. A few days later, we were told that, it was May 3rd.
Being on cloud nine, I called up all my acquaintances, friends, cousins, neighbours and even my bustop buddies that they can catch me on May 3rd on Kannada ETV Vedike :) And those who watched me: congratulated :) Even though, I had forgotten to inform a few to watch me; few of my neighbours who were regular ETV Vedike watchers said:"Was that you on TV? Congrats, Manasa :)"
I have watched ETV Vedike only once till now and the reason being I wanted to watch my performance. The video has been stored on my iPod too :)
Today, I remembered ETV studio experince at 11:15pm while mom was watching some program on this channel. Suddenly, I was awakened that it was a precious memorable day of my life that had not been recorded on this blog. Yes, I was on TV. And today was the first alumni meet of the college where I studied. Though, I couldn't make it to the alumni Inauguration, memories persist. Don't know if any of us who participated still remember of not. For me, I still.
As for the song is concerned, I have forgotten the lyrics :| .. and in search of the sheet of paper I had scribbled ;)
It was a moment of ecstasy since our hard work was fruitful. Don't know if I get such an opportunity in near future :) 

Apple and services

With a hope of getting my iPod fixed, I visited the Apple showroom at Forum a month ago. Even if the iPod didn't function well, it was only "hope" in me, since I had an year warranty for my iPod which includes replacement, too :)

As I entered the chilled-air crowded showroom, I went to the cash counter complaining to him that my iPod isn't functioning properly. He directed me to the service desk which was just behind the cash counter. I noticed that there were few people who had faced similar issues with their iPod like me ;)

Me: I am facing lots of problem with this iPod... Whenever I connect it to my PC, iTuNes pops out a message saying that the iPod is "corrupt". And sometimes, it doesn't get charged :(

He: Ooh.. What version of iTunes are using? The version installed on your computer?

Me: some 7.4.... i guess... Don't remember the exact version, though. Whenever, broadband is connected, iTunes downloads the latest version along with Safari.

He: See, ma' gotta install the latest version always... that's why you're facing such problem...

Me: (sounds stupid!) Its not the software problem... Its the hardware problem... Even without iTunes, Windows pops out a message that the "device connected may not function properly".

He: Its a software issue in your iPod... anyways, I'll reinstall iTunes...

Me: (Dumb, fellow! Its a hardware issue and what the hell is he saying???) Ok... reinstall it...

He connects the iPod to the Mac machine which has Windows installed.

He: May be some virus infect to your iPod.

Me: My PC is virus free.... Even if I connect it at my workstation, I scan for the virus... Its virus-free... Its a hardware problem.... why are you reinstalling the software??? I don't face such problem when I connect a pen drive... Even without iTunes, iPod should behave as a hardisk!

He: ma'am.. I shall reinstall it... Let me know if you face the problem again...

Me: (To hell with you! I'm telling you that its a hardware prob and you're saying its software??) What if I face the same thing again???

He: No worries... I will replace it with a new one...

Me: (Why shouldn't I worry? I've made a huge investment on the brand name-"Apple" whose service people can't even figure out that its a clear hardware issue and not software!

He: It would take sometime for installation....

Me: fine...

Meanwhile, I was gazing at the displays. A triband transistor/radio costs Rs 3599/- I was awe stuck to learn its prize. A couple of years ago or even now, handy pocket sized radios are sold for less than 100 bucks. Even Philips transistor is available for 175 bucks! "Apple"-got it? I, also needed a pouch for my iPod. After checking out few pouches, bought a cute leather pouch for Rs 1099/- Brand Name, you see!

After half an hour, the installation was done. I was given my iPod. I walked out of the showroom annoyed. It was a bad experience, totally. Never expected such a service from Apple!

Two days later, I connected iPod to my workstation. Due to virus infected iPod, my account got locked! At home, I connected it to my PC, scanned for virus. Altogether, 9 trojans were found. That fellow formatted iPod and introduced trojans! Sick!!! The antivirus was up-to-date and hence they were quadratined at a single click :)

Till to-date, it's working fine :) I wish I wouldn't visit the place again ;-)

Moral: I've learnt that I should never go by the so called Brand-Name and just because other suggest or won something, one shouldn't be running after it. Few had suggested me to own an iPod rather than Creative Wide Screen player since its service was better than Creative's. 

As for iPod is considered, I'm glad that it recovered :D ...and I love the sound clarity touch pad and of course the design though it lacks many features as in Creative. It isn't bulky at all!

We learn from experiences, don't we?