Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Reddy shocker

Can news about huge money be shocking? It was indeed to me, when news about a diamond-studded golden crown to Tirupati temple broke.

Janardhan Reddy, Karnataka’s tourism minister, donated the crown worth Rs 42 crore to Tirupati temple today. Apart from 70,000 diamonds weighing 4,000 carats embedded in it, the 2.5-foot, 20-kg crown has a huge 890-carat emerald engraved inside it which alone costs around Rs 10 crore!

The Reddy brothers, who are the mining barons of Karnataka, have made news on lavish spending even before. It was not more than a month ago that we were awed by the news of the Rs 20-crore wedding of health minister Sriramulu’s nephew. The story became the lead in one of the pages of our newspaper. The mammoth ceremony, attended by 40,000 people saw four helicopters ferrying VIPs from Bangalore to Bellary. The palace-like wedding arena was built on an 8-acre land. The wedding hall had 500 airconditioners and more than 200 chefs were at work to feed the gathering.

Right below the news item, we had carried another news which told the story of a daily-wage earner couple who were struggling to find Rs 1.5 lakh for the surgery of their one-year-old daughter whose leg was crushed by a lorry.

I found it really taxing to comprehend the big amounts the Bellary brothers lavished on a temple offering and the wedding of a family member. I would not even make a simple offering of Rs 10 at a temple. Not that I’m an atheist. I would rather give the money to an ailing old man or woman sitting in front of the temple, who lives at the mercy of devotees. I feel God will be pleased by that act than offering some flowers or a gold ornament for him. Of course, I will get flowers too from a kid who is forced to sell it at temple in the evenings to aid her education.

It is of course one’s own personal choice how they should spend their money. But I wish people would not be really insensitive to their surroundings too when they do so.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Never-dying words

Aami — that was how I came to know about Madhavi Kutty (Kamala Das and later Kamala Surayya), when Doordarshan was telecasting her ‘Balyakalasmaranakal’ as a serial. I still remember how I used to be glued to TV on Wednesdays to watch Aami’s story.

May be because the age gap between Aami and I was very less then, I could experience her pain, the happiness and curiosity as my own. Though a permanent bond with her was developed through her poem I studied in high school about her grandmother’s house.

Later during college days, especially after joining MCJ, I was more exposed to her literary works. Each of them of course, made the bond stronger. I discovered more of myself through her works. Even though I’m not a movie buff, I didn’t mind watching her works made into films a number of times, just adoring the bold female characters.

After two days of her death, after hours of her burial, I realize, every woman has an Aami in herself. Though very few realize it.

As meeting you in person still remains a dream, I thank you Aami, for all the courage you instilled in my mind, all the strength you gave me, all the love you portrayed and for helping me discover myself through your words... which will make you eternal in my mind...