Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cycle Rickshaws

A photo that brings old memories - CycleRickshaws/Entyce
The Rickshaw man fighting it out for survival

Cycle Rickshaws used to be a oft used mode of transport in the 1970s in Madras and other parts of Tamil Nadu.

I made a few cycle rickshaw trips in the 1970s in Madras.

And the school uniform in most of my early school years were from entyce, which forms the background to this photograph.

In the last two decades people have not taken a liking to either of these with few exceptions like this one on West Chitrai Street Madurai.

Given this scenario, it is heartening to note that Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival, the annual festival that celebrates 'Madras that was' in the month of Margazhi, has taken up the cause of the cycle rickshaws in their own little way by organising Heritage trips around Mylapore on the cycle rickshaws.

If not for anything, it will at least take people back to the good old days when they did not feel it odd or shy to travel on a cycle rickshaw discussing on the way all kinds of things with the rickshaw man ranging from the latest MGR movie to political developments in Tamil Nadu and from the local Ranji Trophy match to Sunil Gavaskar scoring 36runs in 60overs under our own Venkataraghavan's captaincy in a World Cup match.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Periya Thirumozhi Thiruvallikeni

This is the only verse in his Periya Thirumozhi where Thirumangai Azhvaar refers to all the four brothers and Sita.

பரதனும் தம்பி சத்ருக்னனும்
இலகுமனோடு மைதிலியும்

இரவும் நன் பகலும் துதி செய்ய நின்ற
இராவனந்தகனை எம்மானை

குரவமே கமழும் குளிர் போழிலூட
குயிலோடு மயில்கள் நின்ற ஆழ

இரவியின் கதிர்கள் நுழைதல் செய்தரியாத்
திருவல்லிக்கேணி கண்டேனே

Thirumangai says that he found here at Thiruvallikeni the handsome Lord Rama surrounded by his three brothers Bharatha, Satrugana and Lakshmana with Sita by his side, amidst cool groves where birds sing and peacocks dance...

Interestingly, Thirumangai also adds that the huge trees here make it difficult for the Sun to pierce into this place.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Karanja Narasimha Ahobilam

Lord provided darshan to Anjaneya in a special form with bow in hand, chakra and as Narasimha

Located 6kms from Lower Ahobilam en-route to Ahobila Narasimha Divya Desam (Singavelkundram) is the Karanja Narasimha temple in Upper Ahobilam, west of the Garudathri Mountain and part of the Nava Narasimha temples in Ahobilam.

The Story

Wanting darshan of his favourite Lord, Anjaneya undertook penance under the Karanja tree at this place.

To test the sincerity of Anjaneya, Lord Narayana appeared before him in his Half-Lion –Half Man Narasimha form. Anjaneya was disappointed not to be blessed by Lord Rama himself.

When Narasimha tried to convince Anjaneya that he was the same as Rama and was only in a different form, Anjaneya dismissed this suggestion saying his Lord was handsome and was one with the bow in hand. And that what he was seeing in front of him was one with very long nails in a fiery posture.

Anjaneya threatened to continue his penance till he had darshan of Rama. Pleased with his devotion for Rama, Narasimha provided Anjaneya darshan in a special form with a bow in his left hand ( like Rama), with Adisesha on top and holding the chakra ( like Narayana) and the half lion-half man Narasimha Avatar, thus convincing Anjaneya that Narayana, Rama and Narasimha were one and the same.

Hence, at this temple one finds Karanja Narasimha with a bow in hand and with a chakra. Anjaneya is seen in a standing posture with folded hands with his face turned towards Karanja Narasimha.

600 Year Old Mandapam
There is a 600 year old 100 pillar mandapam where from the First Jeer of Ahobila Mutt is believed to have delivered lectures.

Priest : Ramesh Bhattar @94418 02368 or Veeraraghava Archagar @ 96032 27118
Temple Time : 9am-4pm

How to reach

From Lower Ahobilam, one can take a share auto (Rs.10per head) to reach this temple
Individual Auto from Lower Ahobilam will cost Rs.60-75/-

Friday, November 5, 2010

Triplicane and Mylapore reference by Thirumangai

மீன் அமர் பொய்கை நாள்மலர் கொய்வான்
வேட்கையினோடு சென்று இழந்த

கான் அமர் வேழும் கை எடுத்து அலற
கரா அதன் காலினைக் கதுவ

ஆனையின் துயரம் தீரப் புள் ஊர்ந்து
சென்று நின்று ஆழி தொட்டானைத்
தேன் மலர் சோலை மாட மா மயிலைத்
திருவல்லிகேனிக் கண்டேனே

Thirumangai in his Periya Thirumozhi verse on Thiruvellikeni talks about
Mylapore and Triplicane in one go indicating that there were big groves and mansions
in Mylapore.

Interestingly, he states that the Lord resides in Mylapore and that he has seen Him in Triplicane, an indication of the history of these two locations in Madras and how they were referred in the same breath in those days.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ranji Trophy Tamil Nadu v Assam November 2010

Rain break and Umpiring!!!
One awaits Match Referee's review of the footage and his action on the way the umpires conducted the operations during the rain break on the 4th evening

On the final evening of the four day Ranji Trophy match between Tamil Nadu and Assam played at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai (November 1-4, 2010), one witnessed some glaring errors from two very reputed umpires- AM Saheba and Sanjay Hazare, both international umpires.

With Tamil Nadu chasing 120 to win, they seemed on track at 84/2 when a sudden heavy downpour forced the players to go in at around 345pm. After a 15-20minute rain spell, the grounds men used the sponge sopper to remove the water from the tarpaulin that had been laid out across the pitch covering the entire 30yard area around the wicket.

Then came the rather shocking sequence of events.

No inspection of the wicket/bowler’s run up after the rain

AM Saheba, who had just given of what seemed to be a couple of rough decisions (Abhinav LBW when the batsman seemed to indicate that it had hit his bat and Dinesh Karthik caught at short leg of the reverse sweep- when the batsman seemed to indicate that it had not hit his bat) prior to the rain break, did not inspect the pitch, the bowlers run up or the 30 yard area after the tarpaulin was removed once the rain had stopped and the sponge sopper had been used.

Only one umpire comes back into the ground during the rain break
The other umpire Sanjay Hazare did not enter the field even once from the time the play was stopped for rain till the time he accompanied his partner Saheba for resumption of play at around 430pm.

When asked at the end of the match as to why he did not inspect the pitch or bowlers run up or the 30yard area, Saheba denied not having inspected and said that he did inspect the pitch, bowlers run up and the square before taking the decision to re-start play. When this writer told him that not once did he go anywhere near the wicket after the tarpaulin was removed, Saheba stuck to ‘I did inspect the wicket and the bowler’s run up and it was fit to start’.

Asked as to why his colleague Sanjay Hazara did not come out on to the ground to check the ground conditions, he said that Hazara was making the calculations on the remaining overs.

When this writer asked the Match referee Rajendrasinh Jadeja as to how Saheba came to the conclusion that the pitch and bowler’s run up on both ends were fine for the play to recommence without having inspected the pitch or bowler’s run up, he said he was inside, in the room, with Sanjay Hazare making the overs calculation and that Saheba came back from the ground and told him that he had inspected the pitch and bowler’s run up and that it was fit to re-start.

Asked as to how Saheba took a call himself without the other umpire, the match referee said that this was team work. 'While Saheba was inside the ground, Hazara was finalizing the over count as a result of loss of play' said Jadeja.

This meant that the call to resume play based on the ground conditions being fit was taken by one umpire i.e Saheba while his colleague Sanjay Hazare was busy inside the room making the overs calculations.

Can one umpire make the decision on the ground regarding the fitness of the ground without the presence of the other umpire?

A reading of Law 3 seems to indicate that the umpires may have violated this law.

‘It is the responsibility of the umpires to monitor the conditions and they must make inspections as often as appropriate, unaccompanied by any of the players or officials. Immediately the umpires together agree that conditions are suitable, they will call upon players to resume the game.’

In this case, only one umpire re-entered the ground during the entire period of the rain break. He did not inspect the pitch or bowler’s run up after the tarpaulin was removed. And he took a singular call (and not a joint call with the other umpire) that the ground was fit to play.

While Saheba denied this writer’s comment that he did not inspect the pitch or bowler’s run up (Match referee also said that Saheba told him that he inspected the pitch and bowler’s run up), the match referee Rajendrasinh Jadeja told this writer that the entire sequence of events during the rain break up has been captured by the video camera and that as part of the process, he would review the video footage and take appropriate action if the footage indicated that Saheba did not inspect the pitch or the bowler’s run up or the square.

It will be interesting to see how this story develops over the next 48hours and also as to what kind of action Srinivas Venkataraghavan takes in this case of just one umpire having come back into the ground (during the entire period of disruption of play) to check the ground condition and the other umpire re entering the field only for the resumption of play.

Immediately after the play re-commenced after the rain break, the fast bowler who was to bowl the 2nd over after the rain break informed the umpire (Sanjay Hazara) that the bowler’s run up was slippery and asked for saw dust. During the time, the saw dust was brought up by the groundsmen, the ball was with the fielder at Mid off. The umpires failed to take possession of the ball during this short interruption which lasted for about 2minutes. It seemed to be an ‘off evening’ for the two umpires.

One of the players that the writer spoke said that they did ask as to how the match was re-started without inspecting the pitch, the run up.

However, Amol Muzumdar, the captain of the Assam, team refused to make any comment stating he was bound by the code of conduct and that he cannot say anything regarding this. He also refused to say if his team would lodge an official protest with the match referee.

As part of the process, match referees do view the footage from the Ranji matches and initiate action whether there are any special 'events' in the match. One will have to wait for the verdict from the Match referee after his review of the footage!!!

For the record, TN won the match by 7wickets.