Friday, November 25, 2011

" SAHYANTE MAKAN"

Guruvayoor Kesavan
In Kerala literally  by the term 'Sahyante Makan'  elephants are referred to.Sahyante Makan means the 'Son of Sahyan' which is 'Sahya Mountain or 'Western Ghats  which extends to near the border of  Gujarat and Maharashtra  and runs through Maharashtra,Goa,Karnataka,TamilNadu, and Kerala ending at Kanya Kumari.
In the western Ghats forests there are elephants dwelling in the Karnataka range and Kerala range of forests and in the Karnataka range they are more.Everybody knows that the biggest animal on land is Elephant and that in the ocean is Blue whale.
We Keralites are happy and proud that the biggest animal on earth, the Elephant is also  taking birth and lives in natural habitat in the forest of Kerala.Even though the Official animal of India Tiger is also in Kerala forests only Elephants are called by the term 'Sahyante Makan(Son of Sahya Mountain).There are so many tamed Elephants possessed by the  citizens and  Government  departments like the Travancore Devaswom Board etc.In all the important  temples of Kerala owned by Devaswom Board  there is  for sure   an Elephant each and Mahouts are employed also  to look after them.For the different functions in the temples they are used. The temple Deity is taken on the Elephant in a procession which is known as 'Ezhunnellathu'.For the annual temple festival several elephants are used which are usually brought from other nearby temples.The adorned Elephants with 'Nettipattam' Venchamaram' 'Aalavattam' 'Muthukkuda-( which are colored umbrellas' )etc add pageantry and  majesty to the procession.
There are mainly two varieties of Elephants on the Globe,  Asian Elephants and African Elephants.The Asian Elephants are also  called as Indian Elephants .There are several differences between African Elephants and Indian Elephants.For the African Elephants both the males and females  have tusks where as in Indian Elephants    only male Elephants have tusks.The African variety are comparatively  bigger in size and  have peculiar shape like the difference of their ears..The Indian elephants are more beautiful and attractive and can be tamed easily.
It is said that a grown up elephant has the  intelligence equal to a 5-6 year old human boy but some Elephants proved that they got much more brains like 'Guruvayoor Kesavan', an Elephant which was kept at Guruvayoor temple of Kerala.
There is a saying in Malayalam that 'Aanaye kandum kadalu kandum kothi theerilla'  means people are very fond of watching the Ocean and Elephant for a long time without feeling bored.Elephants are used for Christian festivals also in processions and Muslim festivals like 'Chandana kudam Mahotsavam' and Elephants are a common sight any where in Kerala, at Villages and cities alike.But then also when the sound of an elephant chain is heard people sitting indoors also come out to watch the Elephant passing by.
The Elephants with its long trunks,two lengthy tusks,pillar like legs,round shaped body etc  has other  unique features. The long trunk is its nose but it has several uses which help the elephant as a hand.It is very strong and very flexible.The tip of the trunk has lip like parts  by which it can take even a small pin  from the ground.For drinking water also the trunks are used which draws up to 14 litres  of water at a time  which it pours in the mouth and drinks.Elephants takes water in the trunk and spray it on its body to remove the heat and  to be cool.After wards it will take soil and spread it also on its body which also helps it to keep cool.The Elephant will fan its ears  which also helps their body to be cool and we can judge that the Elephant is in a pleasant mood if it moves its ears constantly.There are 108 sensitive  areas on the body of an Elephant and by  applying some pressure
 or beat that part with stick or pull such parts with a pole the Elephant will feel tremendous pain and will obey the orders of the Mahouts.The Mahouts knows around 10 such parts only and controls the Elephant by exerting some pressure on such parts.A good tusker should keep its head high, should have nicely formed long tusks,18 or 20 nails in total and its trunk should touch the ground and  also  some other features  are checked when an Elephant is bought.There were some eminent and rich families in Kerala who kept Elephants in their yard just because they  loved  them and  to get  prestige from the society as an owner of Elephant.But today mainly people keep them as an income source.




In the forest it eats several types of plants,grass,bamboo leaves and tender stems etc but in captivity they are fed on coconut leaves and palm leaves which they  are very fond of.Cooked rice is  also given to them and as  for treatment  and to protect its health  several types of cooked grains and herbs are given to them during one full month annually and allow them to take rest also during those days..
The tusks of the Indian elephants grows 2-3 inches every year and needs to be trimmed in three or four years.In Kerala and Karnataka Elephants are not captured now since their  number are diminishing in the forests. Elephants from Bihar State are bought and  brought to Kerala for our needs now.
Elephants some times becomes very violent mostly because of handling them rude by the cruel Mahouts.
Generally  they are very gentle and understanding  type animals with a lot of patience also.
Elephants have very good memory.There is a famous story with regard to this statement.Once a teen age boy threw a stone to an Elephant  just for fun and ran away.The Elephant felt pain, he saw the boy and recognized him but could not do any revenge.He took the same stone which hit him  and kept it in his mouth.When eating food and drinking water it removed the stone and afterwards again put it back in the mouth.The Mahout noticed this habit of the Elephant but did not understand any thing regarding  that.The Elephant got chance after three years only when he saw the same old boy standing  near him when a temple function was going on..He took out the stone and threw it hard on the boy which made serious injury for him.When  asked about this the boy revealed that he threw the elephant three years back and the Mahout disclosed  the fact that  the Elephant  was carrying the stone with him for the last three years to do that revenge.

The stories related to elephants are non ending.The Official animal of Kerala is Elephant.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Haripad Sree Subramanya Swamy Temple



There are so many ancient and important Subramanyaswamy Temples in Kerala.The Bala Subramanya Temple of Cheriyanadu in Chengannur is more than 2000 years old.The most important three Subramanya Temples  in Travancore Cochin Malabar areas were,Payyannur,Haripad, and Kumara Kovil out of which Kumara Kovil is now in Tamil Nadu.So Haripad and Payyannur are the most important Temples in this category now in Kerala..The temple which we see at Haripad is more than 1000 years old but when it was actually  established is not known.The temple was renovated several times by several Maharajas during their reign periods.

Haripad temple is known as 'Dakshina Palani' and this temple Deity  was famous as 'Hari Geetha Puresan'.Those who visit this temple will get the blessing of Lord Vishnu,Lord Shiva and Lord Muruga.It is believed that the presence and energy of Shiva and Vishnu is here.When Subramanya Swamy Killed 'Tharakasura' all the Demi-Gods under the leadership of Lord Vishnu gladly greeted him at Haripad and praised  him with songs and 'Sthotras' and so the place name derived as 'Harigeetha Puram'.Since Lord Vishnu came to this place it is also said as 'Haripada Puram(His foot prints are still seen there).
There are three festivals in every year at Haripad temple for 10 days each in Chingam,Dhanu and Medam is  something special which is not seen in any other Subramanya temples.There are three festivals each at Kottayam Thirunakkara Temple and Thrippunithura Purnathrayeesa Temple, Two festivals are there annually at Thiruvananthapuram Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, 28 Days consecutive festival from Dhanu Thirvathira to Makaram Thiruvathira at Chengannur Mahadeva Temple.  At Haripad Subramanya Swamy Temple  with all the rituals of Flag Hoisting , Aarattu etc Aavani Festival,Markazhy Festival and Chithira Festival are celebrated.For  Aavany Festival importance is given to Lord Vishnu,for Markazhy festival importance is given to Lord Shiva and for Chithira festival importance is given for Lord Subramanya.Chithira Festival which is given more importance  to Subramanya Swamy is celebrated in a grand scale every year.
The Deity of Haripad Temple is 6 feet tall and beautiful made out of 'Krishna Sila'(Black Stone) and having four hands.The  Idol was received from Kayamkulam lake  and  recovered  it due to the dream about it to the temple committee people at the same time on a same day.In the dream they had a vision that at a spot in the lake some flowers could be seen and by searching it they got the idol.The Idol was brought by Payipadu river as a procession of so many boats and  canoes  and  from next year on wards 'Payippad Boat Race' started to commemorate this event.
Haripad temple is very beautiful and the temple compound is more than 5 acres.The temple pond is the largest of all temples in Kerala and also is more than 5 acres.The Golden Flagstaff of this Temple is the highest one than any other temple in Kerala .The sanctum is made of stone, round shaped and covered with copper.There is a "Koothambalam' adorned with precious sculptures and carvings.
The vehicle of Subramanya Swamy, Peacocks are kept inside a building here.
The main Offerings to the Deity are  'Thula Payasam,Panchamritham,Kalabhabhishekam,Pushpabhishekam,Thrimadhuram,Sahasra Namarchana etc.
The sub deities in this temple are Dakshina Moorthy,Maha Ganapathy,Gosala Krishnan,Sastha,Yakshi,Kuruthy Kaman, and Panchami.
The unction of the Deity with Panchamritham which is a  grind  mixture of Ghee,Kadali plantain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panchamritafruit,Dried grapes,Honey,Candy and Jaggery (Molasses)  is an auspicious offering  done by the devotees.
Apart from the main three festivals, all 'Samkrama' days, Thrikkarthika of Vrichikam month,Thaipooyam,Anizham day of Edavam Month,Niraputhari and Navarathri are celebrated here.


Payippad  Boat race

Monday, November 14, 2011

Krishnanum Radhayum Movie

We Keralites have some typical characteristics which are none other than perversions  and those are pertaining in our blood. Malayalis are hard working,reliable,possesses ability to mingle with all in any kind of situations and readiness to accept hardships etc are well known.But the Malayalis are not willing to do certain skilled works like Carpentry,Masonry, Welding,plumbing,painting etc in Kerala but they go in search of such jobs outside Kerala and go abroad also.For such jobs Contractors are bringing in workers from other states.
Like that Malayalis  do not like to accept and approve the abilities of another Malayali  because of mere jealousy.Even close relatives have such character so that influential people also may not help their close relatives but extends help to a stranger or a friend.In the close relatives circle such people wants more credit and  to self  boost their abilities is the only psychology behind such acts.They do not want the relatives to gain money,prestige or achievements because of their help and may act as a traducer also.
Malayalis do not have the hero worship attitude also since every body feels that there is no other hero better than themselves.This is mainly because most of the Malayalis are intelligent and has some qualities of  ingenuity in some fields and do not like to approve  or appreciate somebody else.When M.GR.and N.T.R rose to Chief Minister position in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, Prem Nazir had plans to enter politics in Kerala but he dropped that plan since he realized that he would not  get  the expected back up.
Now I thought about these facts because now a days the people of Kerala especially the  youth are trying hard to defeat a young man by name 'Santhosh Pandit' who produced a Malayalam feature film 'Krishnanum Radhayum'.The youths  are saying all kinds of abuse and imprecations against him. I have not  seen the film but  viewed  two or three song sequences and some discussions and interviews in the 'U' tube.Frankly speaking I did not understand what is the sin he has done.In my opinion he has got much more brains than an average Malayali and  more  capable also.He do not have the conventional hero image and acting skill of excellence  for which  I do agree.But as claimed, if he has done all the aspects  and sectors of Story,screenplay,lyrics,music,editing,Direction etc other than Camera, he deserves appreciation.By utilizing 105 artists and spending only five lakh rupees he materialized that project and exhibited his cinema in the theaters is not a joke.He got back the cost  in a few days and  earns profit now.Every day a mob of youth enters the movie houses where it is exhibited  and shouts and howls to segregate him.Some of the audience come to the cinema house to see the film and not to see the nuisance.Such youth friends who want to disturb the shows kindly keep off the theaters.If you have aversion to Santosh Pandit please do not go for his films.He is exhibiting a film which is approved by the censor board and let the interested people see it.His second film  work is going on and the third one is also announced  and these are also  obviously  again one man shows.
How many of these howling and shouting  youths  can write a 12 line song and give it a suitable tune?When you try to create artistic works then only you will understand the  difficulties. If you have the abilities try to prove it like Santosh Pandit.If you do not have the necessary funds a group of youngsters can join together and create your dream projects instead of howling and shouting against prodigies.Santhosh Pandit is having some intrinsic qualities and abilities which we have to approve.Live and let live, please do not try to trample.
Today is November 14 and the first  anniversary of my blogging.I started this blog 'Sorting Diamonds and Pearls' on November 14 last year.Later I have included three more blogs namely, 'imprints on Indian Film Screen' 
'Kerala-Delightful Arts and Culture' and 'Indian Famous Screen Stars'.


I am thankful to the readers who visit these blogs and expects your co-operation further.Best Wishes to All of You.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

KERALA PIRAVI

Kerala State came in to being as a state  in the Indian Union on 1956 November 1. This day is celebrated as 'Kerala Piravi'- The Birthday of Kerala.Till 1956 Nov 1  it was part of the Country as 'Travancore-Cochin' and Malabar  and Chithira Thirunal Maharajah was given the authority as 'Raja Pramukh'  for the combined princely states of Travancore and Cochin.
The story that Lord Parasurama created Kerala is very famous and known to every Keralites.It is believed that Parasurama at that time  divided Kerala in to  64 gramas(Villages).In course of time several new places were formed, several new princely states were also formed,  new Maharajahs enthroned and so on.But it is evident that Kerala remained as a combined state during the 'Chera' rule for several centuries.There were eminent rulers in that dynasty like 'Cheran Chenkuttavan'.There is argument that even the name Keralam derived from 'Cheralam'.(The Kingdom of Cheras).The Chera dynasty declined after 12th century .At the time of Indian Independence there were  Travancore,Cochin and Malabar provinces only.
The Capital of ' Venad ' of Marthanda Varma Maharajah was Padmanabha Puram(Now in Tamil Nadu) and  Marthanda Varma extended his Kingdom and formed Travancore.Later the capital was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram.
In the story of Parasurama, he threw his axe  stationed at Cape Comerin and it fell
at Gokarnam at the north side.So Kerala was from Cape Comerin at the southern end to Gokarnam at the north.The Poet Vallathol Narayana Menon is describing 'Keralamba'(Mother Kerala) as
"Pachayam Virippitta Sahyanil Thala Vechum
Swachabdi Manalthittam Padopadhanam poondum
Palli Kondeedunna Nin Parswa Yugmathe kathu
Kollunnu Kumariyum Gokarnesanum Amme"
Mother Kerala is lying majestically keeping the greenish Sahya Mountain as the pillow and  her toes are kept on the sparkling white sands at  the beach of Arabian Sea.Her two sides are being protected by 'Kanya Kumari Devi'  and the Deity at Gokarnam.
Even though these were the facts,  when the new state of Kerala was formed,  (according to the basis of language spoken) heavy losses happened to us.The fertile Nanchinadu where paddy fields where  in abundant was not included.The taluks Thovala,Agastheeswaram,Vilavancodu,Kalkulam which were in Travancore was omitted.The expected places like Gudallur,Mayyazhi,Lakshadweep were also not included. Any how Malayalees got a new state as 'Kerala' with  Thiruvananthapuram as the Capital.There were only five districts at the time of formation of Kerala State which are now increased to 14.
"Bharathamennu kettal Abhimana pooritham akanam Antharangam
Keralamennu kettalo thilakkanam chora namukku njarambukalil"
People of Kerala are very Proud about India and Kerala  and work for the betterment of the Nation as a whole.Being a part of the Country we expect and wish for more development and achievements together.
Kerala People generally are peace loving people harmoniously mingle with all and hardworking.Yet we are sure that a minute percentage of people are in the society who are unsocial  elements  always trying to create unnecessary problems.
On November 1 every year all Kerala people wear traditional dress like Dhotis,Kerala Hand loom Sarees etc.Even in Colleges students dress like that on this day  which is a splendid sight.
We Keralites are pride about the greenery of our state.We call it as 'God's own country' and do all possible things to make that statement true.The largest literacy rate in India is in Kerala and we are proud about that also.
According to 2011 census the population of Kerala is 33,387,677.