Sunday, 28 July 2013

India's unsung Heroes.......King Sukhdeo.

*      King Sukhdev was the ruler of Sravasti, UttarPradesh, India in the early 11th century. He was also known as Suhaldev.

*      Masood Ghazni, the nephew of Ghazni invaded India with the army of more than 100,000 men with 50,000 cavalry in May 1031. This time, the army was not a raiding one like that of Mahmood Ghazni, who came with intention of raiding, looting and retreating with the loot to Afghanistan. Masood was backed by the imperial army of the Persian empire and came to India with the intention of permanent conquest and Islamization of India.

*      King Anandpal Shahi tried to check this Ghazni advance towards the heartland of India. He was helped by the king of Sialkot, Rai Arjun. But, this alliance was overwhelmed by the superiority of numbers of the Muslim army. After defeating Anandpal Shahi and Rai Arjun, Masood advanced towards Malwa and Gujarat. King Mahipal Tomar tried to check the advance but he too was defeated.

*      After victories across the northern Indian plains, Masood settled at Bahraich near Lucknow. He stayed here up to mid-1033. To fight the invader, 17 Rajput kings forged the biggest confederation under the leadership of King  Sukhdev.

*      In June 1033, Masood was intimated by this confederation that the land belonged to the Rajputs and Hindus and he should evacuate these lands. Masood replied that all land belonged to the Allah and hence he would not retreat.

*      On June 13, 1033 the Rajput army of about 120,000 descended on the Ghazni camp at Bahraich. Masood's army was completely besieged and encircled. The battle continued for hours. In the end, each and every man in Masood's camp was killed. No prisoners were taken, no mercy was shown on the invaders. The great battle was fought near the Chittaura Jheel, a lake about 8 km from the modern city of Bahraich on the Bahraich-Gonda Road. The battle ended on 14 June with victory for Raja Sukhdev and his Rajput alliance. On the evening of 14 June 1033, Masood was killed by Raja Sukhdev.

*     The invasion was completely crushed and victory was so resounding that no Arab invader from the Northwest dared to invade India for next 160 years.

*     This is one of the golden pages of Indian history. Sadly this battle neither is taught in the text books, nor has been given due importance in the history books; while lesser battles depicting Mughal victory have been given undue importance. This is injustice to thousands of soldiers who laid down their lives fighting for the honour of their country.

*     If future kings had shown half the courage against the Mughal invaders, history of India would have been different.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Two Screams.............

*     The Original Scream, painted by Norwegian painter, Edvard Munch in Jan 1892. The present value of this painting is $ 119.9 millions. The owner is New York billionaire, Leon Black.

*       This replica is painted by my daughter, Payoshni. The owner are her parents and the price....well you guessed it right. It's priceless...

*       And She is my inspiration. Credit for my paintings (see slide show) goes to her....

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Do we need Sporting Razzmatazz ???

*    The economic situation in the world is gloomy. The developed world
is reeling under the threat of recession. The U.S. is barely keeping its
head above water.The economy of Greece has sunk and that of Spain,
Italy and Portugal are about to sink. Great Britain and France are just
making both ends meet. Only Germany gives hope to the Eurozone.

*    Still the rulers of the developing world are obsessed with hosting
Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the World Cups in
their countries much against the wishes of their citizens, who are reeling
under rampant corruption, lack of health and education facilities.

*    The condition of the developing world doesn't inspire much. People
there crave for more jobs, better education and heath care; and not the
sporting razzmatazz, like the Olympics and the World Cups on which their
govts spend billions of dollars without any returns. It is Brazil today, it
might be Indonesia tomorrow. People are left with no option but to come
out on the streets and protest against this unnecessary extravaganza by
their rulers.

*    Is democracy failing us?  This question will come back to haunt us
every time we hear about such extravaganza by our rulers....

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Inequality in the United States..............

*     The six-person jury panel, supposedly made up of five white women and a Hispanic, late Saturday found the 29-year-old Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder of an unarmed black teenager.

*    Could the verdict have been the same if the killer was a black man and the innocent killed was a white teenager?

*    What a tragedy of justice?

*    This incident proves that inequality still exists in the country despite a black president and people's tall claims that everybody is equal before the law.

*    Anger over the acquittal will result in peaceful protests across the country and die down. But another black family would have been denied the justice.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Patal Bhuvaneshwar, Uttarakhand, India

^      Patal Bhuvaneshwar, a limestone cave temple believed to be as old as the earth itself, is located in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand in India. 160 m long and 90 feet deep cave has a narrow tunnel.
^      Legend and folklore have it that this underground cave enshrines Lord Shiva and 33 crore Gods. 

^     King Ritupurna, the ruler of Ayodhya in the Treta Yuga had taken King Nala to the Himalayas and asked him to stay there. On his return journey he was fascinated by a deer, which he chased into woods. When he failed to find it, he rested under a tree and fell asleep. In the dream he heard the deer pleading him to abandon the chase. He woke up and went to a cave where a guard was standing. After inquiring about the cave, he was allowed inside. Right at the entrance, Ritupurna met the Sheshnag who agreed to take him through the cave. It carried him on his hood. Inside, he saw all the 33-crore gods and goddesses including Lord Shiva himself. It is said that after his visit, the cave was closed for ages with a prediction in the Skandpurana that it will be reopened again in Kaliyuga.  

^      Adi Shankarcharya in Kalyug, during his visit to the Himalayas re-discovered this cave. Since then regular worship is being done at this temple.

 ^     The priests here have so many interesting folktales to narrate. One of which is that this cave has underground tunnels to the Char Dhams. For more folklores, visit this cave temple.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Colour of Envy.................


" Envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness," 
                                                        -- Bertrand Russel    

" The pain caused by the good fortune of others,"
                                                        -- Aristotle

" One who does not envy but is a compassionate friend to all ... such 
   a devotee is very dear to Me."
                                             - Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, 

*   Envy is known as one of the most powerful human emotions. It is one 
     of the Seven deadly sins of the Catholic Church. In the Book of Genesis
     envy is said to be the motivation behind Cain murdering Abel, as Cain
     envied Abel because God favoured Abel's sacrifice over Cain's.

*   Getting rid of envy is  crucial to salvation. In the tenth commandment,
     God forbids us from coveting our neighbour's things, woman, and
     servants, and urges us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with
     those who weep.  Apostle Paul said, love our neighbours as ourselves.

*   In all religions and all cultures, envy is considered as sin. It's important  
     that we banish envy from our hearts, in order to achieve salvation. 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Saviours in Uttarakhand....

*     We salute these Saviours in Uttarakhand.

*     The Bravehearts of the Indian Air Force, the Indian Army, the Indo -
       Tibetan Border Police and National Disaster Response Force spent
       days and nights in rescuing more than one lakh pilgrims stranded in
       the far flung areas of the flood ravaged Himalayan state.

*     20 Bravehearts from amongst the above laid down their lives saving
       those of their countrymen.

*    And if you were wondering where were the elected reps? Look at
     these pics.

From Mubarak to Morsi......Egypt's struggle with Democracy continues....

^    The Egyptians came out in huge numbers in Tahrir Square in Feb 2011 to oust Mubarak, the dictator who ruined their destinies for 29 long years. But their struggle continued to make an unwilling army call for elections. And what an irony that the elections didn't result in true democracy.

^   Morsi, the new president, slowly and steadily usurped all powers and started to move in the footsteps of Mubarak. Perhaps, he had misinterpreted the resolve of the common folks and their craving for genuine democracy and not a sham one. So, they came out again in large numbers.

^   The Tahrir Square is again crying for Morsi's ouster. The Army has given ultimatum of 48 hours to Morsi to resign.

^   What a tragedy ! The Egyptians' struggle for genuine democracy continues even after more than two years since they ousted Mubarak.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Mystical Lakes...........the Lake of No Return (Burma).

*     Lakes evoke awe amongst the mankind and carry a kind of mystic
      about them. They all have interesting tales associated with them.
*     The Lake of No Return lies in Burma, about 40 km from Jairampur
      in India. It can be viewed from Pangsau Pass (Hell Pass). Since
      a number of of Allied aircrafts crash landed in it during World
      War II,  the Americans called it the Lake of No Return.

*       The second tale has it that a group of Japanese soldiers returning
         from battle lost their way and ended up at the lake. There, they
         were stricken by malaria and died.

*       The third story says that the US Army soldiers, working on the Ledo
         Road, were sent to examine the lake and got trapped by the
         undergrowth and perished in it while trying to escape.

*       The fourth says that the retreating British troops in 1942 got lost in
         quicksand of the lake. 

*       Believe in one story, or all; the Lake does draw you to it.... 

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