Monday, September 28, 2015

Ladhak & Kashmir 2010 - Day 7 - Westwards - Rizong

6th July 2010

It was by chance that I looked to the right as we were driving towards Lamayuru and stopped just for a few seconds to run to the entrance an take a few pictures before driving on.

Here is a piece from the travel guide about this monastery.

It is a relatively new road. Rizong was among the last monasteries to become accessible by a motorable track. It is an impressive maze of white washed buildings high on a hill in a narrowing Canyon.

Founded in 1833 Rizong is one of Ladakh's newest monasteries and among its most isolated. There are no villages in its neighbourhood and the monastery forces a very strict regime of discipline for the 40 odd resident llamas. The story of it’s founding is fascinating. In 1815 a pious Ladaki merchant was driving a Caravan of mules laden with goods from Tibet when a thunderstorm forced him to break journey. Pitching camp, he dug a hole to collect the rain water for his mules to drink. Several weeks later on his way back as he passed by the place he was surprised to find the hole still full of water. Convinced the place was blessed, he vowed to set up a monastery there.

When the monastery was completed, the merchant Tshultim Nyima renounced the world and joined the clergy, eventually becoming the head lama. He was succeeded by his son, who it is believed was a tulku or a reincarnate lama. He was born after Nyima prayed to a high lama for a child. The aging lama promised to be reborn as his son soon after his imminent death. And sure enough, a son was born to Nyima.
Hailed as the reincarnate lama, the boy called Rizong Shas, eventually became the head lama and the Gompa’s abbots have since been reincarnate tulkus of the Rizong Shas lineage.

Friday, September 18, 2015

AR Rahman. Fatwa. Ghar Wapsi.

There is no way you can equate the terror-mongering, suicide-bombing fanaticism of extreme Islamists to petty vandalism (on Valentine’s day) and loose 'communal' comments of the so called 'extremist' Hindu groups.
There is nothing in the Hindu world that will remotely counter/compare with the fatwa-issuing-and-beheading reptilian cold bloodedness of Muslim fundamentalists.
Even the demolition of one Babri Masjid blown up a hundred times is a molehill when placed next to the mountain of a thousand temples razed by Islamic ‘rulers’ of the past (so what if there was no constitution then?, the present day Muslims hero worship all those invaders, even Aurangzeb! and condone their depradation), or with the festoons of Pakistani flags in Muslim areas of present India, or with the open support given to Kashmiri separatists by others of the same ‘brotherhood’, or with the ten thousand ‘Innocent’ Muslims who joined Yakub Memon’s funeral procession.

There is no way you can compare the million Hindus voices condemning one Godhra and their insatiable craving for secularism and Muslim welfare, with the thundering silence from the Muslim community over the slaughter of five Lakh or more Kashmiri Hindus, over the bull dozing of temples in Pakistan and Bangladesh, over terrorism, over the blowing up of Bamiyan Budhhas by the Taliban.

But the media does it again.

“Who are you to dictate to AR Rahman to do Ghar Wapsi?” was the opening comment of the debate.
When and where did the remark from VHP sound like a dictation???
They played the clip again and again, hoping to make up with quantity, for what was lacking/completely absent in quality, but in vain. It just did not sound like a dictat, and not remotely close to a Fatwa on someone’s head.
It was a simple invitation. A message of welcome. There was neither threat, nor compulsion, nor persuasion with incentives.
But the media went on.

In fact, the invitation for Ghar Wapsi must have come as a relief to the media. They would have found it awkward, somewhat uncomfortable to condemn the Fatwa issuing Muslim group.
The VHP, by issuing an invitation for Ghar Wapsi, has surely come to the media’s rescue. Now they can take all their ‘condemnation’ to the Hindu group, assure the Muslims that ‘look, we are not condemning you alone, we are condemning the Hindus as well; in fact, we would not condemn you at all, but what to do, compulsions”, and keep the Muslims appeased.

These were the same dogs who fought for the rights of Christian missionaries to propagate their religion, quoting the Constitution, fundamental rights and legalities again and again.
These were the very fellows who hijacked one statement from Obama about restriction of religious freedom in India and used it freely to support the missionaries in their shameful maligning of idol worship and polytheism.
To be sure, these are the same people who have looked the other way as the Vatican funded church has converted people of independent India to Christianity every day using money, other incentives, persuasion and what not.

And today, when VHP merely invites a once Hindu AR Rahman to return to the Hindu faith....... they declare war against him!
When the VHP spokesman gave it back to them in their own language and said, “the Constitution gives me the right to propagate my religion”, the journo fumbles, for jut a second and then quickly recovers and says, “It’s not about legality, it’s about propriety”!!
Where was their sense of propriety when told about the kind of derisive stories the Christian missionaries were telling in tribal villages about Rama and Krishna. They said freedom of speech was a ‘legal right’.
When told ‘kissing in public’ might be against propriety, they said ‘freedom of expression’ was a ‘fundamental right’.
When told about banning of meat for mere four days as a courtesy to a Jain minority, they said “People have a ‘right’ to eat what they want, who are you to tell them not to?”; there was no consideration for propriety then.
When some dumb Bollywood actor recorded a video on ‘Sex outside marriage- my choice’, these fellows weren’t thinking of propriety.
When told about giving preference to Sanskrit over German, it did not occur to them that it was only ‘proper’ to nurture a language of Indian origin over a foreign one. They talked of students’ ‘right’ to choose German.

Isn’t it ironical that the thing the media exposes most is itself?
I am hoping, that despite all this, if people still watch these news channels, it is for the same reason as they watch ‘Halkat Jawani’ by Kareen Kapoor, or a ‘Baby doll’ by Sunny Leone, or ‘Munni Badnaam Hui’ by Malaika Arora.
Cheap entertainment and titillation.
Most importantly, I hope, there is NO TAKE AWAY.

The media is definitely wrong in equating Islamic Terror with RSS Hindutva.
But the viewers are absolutely right in equating Presstitutes with Prostitutes.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Meat Ban

I am vegetarian.

But all I need to do to understand the disappointment about 4 days of meat ban is to imagine how I would feel if milk or carrot or potato, or rice or all of them were to be banned for 4 days.

The way I feel when I think about it is no more than a little bit of annoyance.
Those who know me would say that is because I am anyway dieting all the time, but I am sure about one thing: even if I were a glutton, the feeling could be nowhere close to ‘Vehemence’, the kind which should trigger hours and hours of debate on national television, resentment about a political party that has no charges of corruption, countless tweets and facebook posts, articles from ‘luminaries’ expressing regret about voting for the party with complete disregard for a thousand right moves it has made towards taking the nation forward.

(Wait. Are dead ‘stars’ grabbing these ‘opportunities’ to tell people they are still alive? I mean, Shehnaz Treasurywala, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, Shobha De? Who would even notice them, or remember they once existed if not for their 'open letters' on Facebook and their dumb commentary on NDTV debates?)

Why so much vehemence against 361 days of unchecked indulgence (4 days of abstinence)??
Do they think they are opposing terrorism? Scams? Crimes? Encroachment at the border? Compromise of national security? Scandals?
The very fact that they are jumping at every opportunity trivial and more trivial to ‘condemn’ the government reveals the truly dog like nature of these ‘watchdogs’. Cant find a thief to bark at? bark at the neighbour, owner... Can't find a scandal, scam? Pick Sanskrit, Cows... I should liken them to serpents perhaps.

Alright you don’t approve of certain moves of this government. You didn’t vote for this ‘ideology’.
But by now you should know it’s part of the package.
And knowing that the more important parts of this package are ‘Development’, ‘Honesty’, ‘No corruption’, ‘Tough measures on terrorism’, ‘Rehabilitation of persecuted Kashmiri Hindus’, ‘Article 375’, 'Loyalty to India and not Italy', 'Bring Back Black Money', ‘Uniform civil code’, ‘Yoga’, ‘Smart cities’, 'Clean India', 'Declassify Netaji Bose's files', 'Clean up the Ganges', 'Permanent Seat in the UN' and much more, you should be more than happy to make small sacrifices of meat, alcohol, porn, late night pubbing, fashion TV, etc., sacrifices if you indeed consider them to be!!!

But no, you have second thoughts about voting for this party! and ask everyone else to do so! Where are your priorities?
...Gives you away. Completely.

If you don't like things, criticize them, but the criticism has to be proportionate to the alleged/perceived wrong.
Don't say ridiculous things like 'bells and alarms should ring in our heads!'
And to say something like "Disappointing. Annoying. Frightening. Unacceptable. Despicable. Shocking, Despotic Fascist Regime!...", you must be a wretched human being, which Suchitra Krishnamoorthi is!
Save it, save it for the scams of the Congress party; save it for the conspiracy that killed Netaji, save it for the number of zeroes you can't even count in that large number in that Swiss Bank secret account. Don't waste it on 4 days of vegetarianism.

Knowing and seeing that this government is in action every single day, taking strides that one never saw or heard of in 60 years of all previous governments, knowing of its grand plans and dreams for India, if you start kicking and biting at having to give up a beer here and a nude there, it goes to show how selfish, shortsighted you are and how reluctant to give up even the smallest of personal inconveniences for the greater good of this country for which you flaunt so much care and concern.

As for Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, her Aphallatosis seems to have crippled her mind completely.
So much confusion!
Here she says, "I want to marry again only for sex",
and there she says, "I am old fashioned and shocked at the advances men make at me",
admits to having Aphallatosis (a rare mental disorder arising from lack of sex)
and then she says, "my father recites the Vedas, it is so in my bloodline..."
says "India needs strong women & mothers, not cleavage flashers..advises Sonam Kapoor and Gul panag to put on clothes if they aspire to get into politics because "a young woman seen in a sexual context will not be taken seriously" only to be rebuked by people and to be called mean and bitchy
but after that asks BJP who the hell gave them the right to tell people what to eat...
THAT'S EXACTLY the question Sonam and Gul Panag were asking HER when she told them what clothes to wear!

One can see she has cobwebs not only between legs but also between her ears!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Ladhak & Kashmir 2010 - Day 7 - Westwards - Alchi

6th July 2010

From Likir we headed to Alchi, further west.

Every now and then, we were slowed down by road construction works. Followed by perfect military maintained roads.
Burgundy deserts followed by patches of lush fields swaying back and forth.
A ripe old woman selling tender peas.
I bought a box of them. These were the sweetest of peas i had ever had in my life.
Miles and miles of no man’s land followed by Ladakh Kraftz Emporium. Selling jewellery and Buddhist standards – Vajras, thangkas and all.
An open air restaurant where we had lunch.

And then the Alchi monastery. Sited on flat ground ad not perched on hill tops.
12th century shrines.
Most magnificent murals in all Ladakh.
No China-Tibet influence, but Buddhist northern India, particular Kashmir that disappeared without trace following Muslim conquest and depredations.
Alchi – a chance survival. A collection of many closely packed treasures within dark small inconspicuous enclosures.
Photography not allowed. Disappointing, but when you see the precarious condition of the insides – the statues in niches as well as the murals, you know that they are really really frail.