Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shirdi, IPL, Varun, Lay off

I am back from Shirdi travel last week(Sunday to Tuesday). Great trip. Crowd was phenomenal close to 100,000 Sunday (2 Hrs in queue from 3 pm to 5pm) Monday was far less. The Sunday was the 5th day after the festival of colors "the Holi festival", so had a look of Sai Baba's photo carried on a chariot and the gaiety associated with the festival of colors. (First time seen the chariot in my 10 trips over the past 19 years).

Security and access are issues. Many places you have to walk barefoot so watch out for stained legs and its consequences, as my daughter almost has allergic symptoms. Lot of confusion on entry and exits, (Especially if you enter thro gate 3(Dwaraka Maii side) it will only lead to exit to GATE 1 and you have to enter again thro gate 1 to come in) confirm my firm belief that administrators make a mess of simple things. Big queue for mobile phone handover as it is banned inside samdi mandir, so leave mobile phones at hotel room.

Also the chance to touch Baba's samadhi is no more possible, it is all protected with glass. As I visit every time, I see that the man-divine interaction in a physical sense is getting withdrawn more and more. Anyway, You forget all the hardship and harassment when you stand in the sanctum- sanctorum and it is all just tears in your eyes that wash all the sins. So for that you can bear anything.

This visit I was helped by local personnel to get a VIP pass for the second visit Monday to samadi mandir, so it was a bonus.

Also as the cab driver told me, "the more you wait in queue, the more you get a chance to chant his name and hear about Sai Baba's deeds, that is what he wants, He does not want you to come to him in a easy/ quick access". That was an enlightening moment for me in this trip and a huge take away. So the next visit, I will be more patient to wait in queue and reach his sanctum sanctorum.

I would also mention that many people visit Shirdi do not take time to visit the Khandoba Temple. This was the place where Sai was first welcomed by Mhalsapathi and said "AAO SAI" (Welcome Sai).

Also the cab driver took us to the place where Sai Baba first meditated and stayed before moving to Shirdi. This temple is very near to the Kopargaon Train station on the main highway to Shirdi. There is a temple now
called Tapobhumi Mandir.

Yes, This was my first trip on train almost in 2 years on Indian railways, lot of improvements on passenger facility / reservations etc. But the recession/ inflation has taken effect, I guess on food stalls on stations as well as quality of food served in train. (Still better from health perspective from local vendors on train stations I would assume!!!).

Ok, moving to other things, I am more than delighted that the IPL is moving out of India, I despise the bikini clad cheerleader version of this disgusting circus. Anything that takes off hype is welcome one more so in the middle of elections and exams. What a tragedy?? Would any body come and watch overseas!!!! How can they call Indian premier league of cricket when Indians play matches overseas??? Rip off !!!.

My friend Dilip has posted an interesting thoguhts on Varun Gandhi's speech.
Good distill of the situation, but at the same time, having lived in Gujarat and seen the way things happen, it is not surprising that the emergence of Modi and Varun, as seen counter balance by some. All I can hope that in near future it doesnt lead to a Nazi like situation with a 21st Century Hitler coming to guide us all.

There was an intestine case study in March 09 HBR on lay offs. Very divergent thoughts.

OK, till next week, take it easy and take care, live consciously.
Vande mataram.
Karthik.
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