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Gaining Friends

Even without the wherewithal
Learned men and intellectuals
Achieve what they want like
The crow, the rat, the deer and the turtle.

Now the story. There was a city called Mahilaropyam in the south not far off from where was a large banyan tree. Many species of birds came there to eat the tree’s fruit. In the hollow of the great tree lived poisonous reptiles like snakes and scorpions. Travellers found the tree a great shelter in their journeys.

A crow called Laghupatanaka made this tree his home. As he was flying one day towards the city for collecting food, he sighted a hunter carrying a net and approaching the tree like a messenger of death. The crow at once sensed danger and, sure that the hunter came to trap the birds on the tree, told all the birds,

“Friends, this wicked hunter has seeds in his bag that he will scatter to lure you. don’t trust him and avoid the seeds like poison.” The hunter came, sowed the seeds and spread the net. He left the spot and sat elsewhere not to arouse the suspicion of the birds. Warned by Laghupatanaka, the birds stayed away from the seeds as though they were poisonous berries.

Meanwhile, Chitragriva, king of doves, saw the seeds from a distance and landed there with his retinue of one thousand doves. They came to eat the seeds ignoring the warnings of Laghupatanaka and soon the hunter spread his net and trapped all of them. That is why elders have said that fools can never foresee peril. People often lose sense when danger lurks in the corner.

Chitragriva and his retinue, however, kept their cool in the face of danger. He appealed to his friends not to panic. Elders have said that they tide over danger, who are not scared by crisis. “Let us fly together and land elsewhere where the hunter cannot reach us. We can then plan a strategy to get out of this net. If we don’t fly now, we are all doomed,” said Chitragriva. Thereupon, all of them flew together.

The hunter followed the flight of the doves and looking upwards chanted, “They are flying together. But the moment there is a break in their unity they will crash to the ground.” Laghupatanaka, the crow, also followed the flying doves to see what they would do. When he lost sight of the birds, the hunter gave up and went home ruing that he had lost his net also.

When he was sure that the hunter had failed to chase them, the king of the doves told his friends, “The hunter has disappeared. Let us all now fly towards Mahilaropyam where I have a friend Hiranyaka, who is a rat. He is our only hope. It is only a friend who will come to the aid of those in trouble.” The birds, heeding the advice of the king, flew to the fort of Hiranyaka in Mahilaropyam.

Standing outside the fort, Chitragriva shouted,

“O friend, come quickly. We are in great trouble.”

Without coming out, Hiranyaka shouted back, “Who are you sir and what do you want from me? What is the kind of trouble that is bothering you? Let me know.”

“I am your friend Chitragriva, king of the doves. Come out soon.”

Hiranyaka came out and was happy to see Chitragriva with his retinue and asked what was the matter. The king of the doves said,

“Whatever man does for whatever reasons,
in whatever manner and wherever in his last birth.
He reaps the consequences for the same reasons,
in the same manner and in the same place.”

“All of us are trapped in this net because of our weakness for food. Come at once and free us from this trap,” urged Chitragriva.

Hiranyaka said, “It is rightly said that a bird can recognise food from fifty miles but cannot see the danger lurking next to him.”

After delivering this sermon, the rat set out to free Chitragriva first. But the king of doves pleaded with him to first liberate his friends. The rat was angry and reminded Chitragriva that it was fair that the king became free first and then the servants. “No, it is not like that,” countered Chitragriva. “They are all dedicated to my service and have left their families behind to come with me. I have to repay that debt,” he said.

Pleased with his friend’s love for his servants, Hiranyaka said, “Friend, I know the duties of a king. I was only testing you. I will free everyone now. This will win more doves for your retinue.” With the help of his servants, the rat then bit off the entire net and all the doves came out. Hiranyaka saw off Chitragriva and retinue and went back into his fort.

Seeing the whole drama of Hiranyaka liberating Chitragriva and his friends, Laghupatanaka, the crow, thought, “I don’t trust anyone. On top of it, I have a fickle mind. I will seek his friendship. Our ancestors have always said that even if a wise man has everything he needs, he should still seek friends. Even if all the rivers flow into the Sea, the Sea still waits for the Moon to come out.”

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2010 in Stories from Panchatantra

 

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Sri Venkateswara Temple,Malibu

Location : 1600 Las Virgenes Canyon Rd,Calabasas, CA 91302

This beautiful Temple is managed by the Hindu Temple Society of Southern California.

It has always been a wonderful experience to be able to visit this Temple that is nestled in the hills of Santa Monica.Driving down the CA -1 n/Pacific Coast Highway enroute to the Temple is a visual treat and so is the Malibu Canyon Road that leads to the Temple.

Lord Sri Venkasteswara,the presiding diety is located in the upper complex and Lord Shiva in the lower one.Through my own experiences of being able to visit the Temple along with my Family,I see the many people from different cultures experiencing the spiritual connection through the prayers and meditation that is so integral to the Hindu Society.

For all the ones who visit Los Angeles,I pray they all get to visit this beautiful Temple and invoke the prayers for to receive the blessings of Sri Venkateswara.

Enjoy the wonderful pictures I was able to capture …

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2010 in My Writing's

 

Handy Tips for Newcomers to USA – Part 1

Sorry folks for not having been able to blog for a while,yet I am back and hopefully this post adds on to any existing information you have on travelling to be in the United States.

These tips are from my own experiences and the information I could gather in through day to day events.

License to Drive (California)

www.dmv.ca.gov is the link that guides you to all activities pertaining to Driving in California(Similar to the Regional Transport Office – RTO – back in India)

First step is to acquire a Temporary License after having successfully completed a written test (the preparation of which can be done either by downloading the California Driver Handbook from the site mentioned above or visiting a DMV office and picking up a printed copy of the same)

The test requires you to answer a percentage of questions correctly and with each unsuccessful attempt the percentage increases so make sure to clear it in the first attempt.The test is objective in nature.Sample tests are available online and at the DMV site listed above.

Once you receive a temporary license make sure to take the necessary training (Training Schools or Certified Private Trainers – you can find some of them listed in www.craigslist.org ).Depending on the time frame you have set for yourself to acquire a permanent  driving license,take an appointment for Behind-the-wheels road test as soon as you enrol for training.Ask questions to the training school staff or the private instructor for to get an insured vehicle to complete the Road Test.Follow every guideline given by the training authority as to the procedure to complete your Road Test successfully.

In case you want to practise along with a partner who has a permanent license,you do get to rent a car on some of the mentioned sites below

www.enterprise.com

www.hertz.com

www.avis.com

You are allowed 3 attempts to successfully complete the Behind-the-Wheels Road Test.

On successful completion you get a permanent  California Driving License with an expiration date as according to the status of your stay in the country.

(The entire information above is for the Class C Driving License)

Note : Do not look for any shortcuts in procedure or fast tracks as you would be risking your life and of others on the road.Better Safe than Sorry.

Finally,best wishes to all who would benefit from this information and also to them who already have the information and are going through the procedures this moment in time.

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2009 in My Writing's

 

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Attagari Kathalu

Dr Bhanumati Ramakrishna

Dr Bhanumati Ramakrishna

Dr. Paluvayi Bhanumathi Ramakrishna Telugu:భానుమతీ రామకృష్ణ (born on September 7, 1925 – December 24, 2005) was a noted Indian film actress, director, music director, singer, producer, book writer and songs writer.

Bhanumati was also a talented writer with a number of short stories to her credit. Her autobiography Nalo Nenu was published in Telugu and later, released in English as Musings. Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Academy awarded her as the best short story writer for her popular short stories “Attagari Kathalu“.

I present to you the many stories from the collection.Click to Listen and Enjoy

“Attagaru Aavakaya”

“Attagaru Aratikayapodi”

“Attagaru Aacharalu”

“Attagaru Aavu Number 23”

“Attagaru Achuthappulu”

“Attagaru Japan Yatra”

“Attagaru Lankebindelu”

“Attagaru Narsammayanam”

“Attagaru Panivallu”

“Attagaru Todikodalium”

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2009 in Telugu Humour

 

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The Art of Cricket

So the Test Match at Napier against New Zealand ended in a draw.

The  saviour’s of the game Gautam Gambhir,Rahul Dravid,Sachin Tendulkar,V V S Laxman and Yuvraj ensured that India still are on the verge of a series win in New Zealand.The talking point though of the match had to be the uncharacteristic outburst of Rahul Dravid against the stand-in skipper Virendra Sehwag and the way he approaches his game.

He said and I quote ” “I don’t know the meaning of playing your natural game all the time,” Dravid said at the press conference after close of play on the fourth day. “You have to play according to the situation of the game. That’s what the great players have done over the years,” he added.

“There cannot be only one way of playing the game. You’ve got to play differently, according to the situation. The good ones adapt,” he said.

Though I agree with Dravid as I am a great admirer of the way he plays the game,I cannot overlook the fact that Sehwag has been prolific in the longer version of the game and his statistics speak for him.

It has been a battle between the purists(classical) ones against the Brutal(aggressive) ones as ever.

Looking at the demography of Indian cricket over the years,I have a different view of the way in which cricket is played in the country.The South and the Western parts have thrown in players mostly in the classical mould i.e a Gavaskar,Viswanath,Dravid,Laxman,Azharuddin,Vengsarkar and so on and so forth.

The North and East though has had the flamboyance of a Kapil Dev,Yuvraj,Dhoni,Sehwag,Ganguly and others.

The notable exceptions being Krish Srikanth and Mohinder Amarnath and a few others.

Wonder whether players from the South/West are coached more in technique and the ones in North/East to indulge in exhibiting savage power.

I wonder this being a socio-political mindset of the region.Compared to the Lalu Prasad Yadav’s and Mayawati’s of the North,the Chidambaram’s and the Kalam Azad’s of the South (who by no means are ineffective ) have a distinct classical style of their own.A Bahubali is associated more in the Northern region though there may be many of those in the southern strip.

So as history proves,the combination of the players from all these walks of socio-political spheres have had their moments of glory.I conclude that we always will remain the underdogs of the game for amidst all of it,we still can produce individual players of extraordinary brilliance.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2009 in Cricket

 

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Guide to Buying A Digital Camera

Wanting to buy a camera for long? Bamboozled by the cameras around you? However, not sure how to go about hunting, what to look for? What features and how many megapixel counts? You need some help in choosing your perfect one.

Tiny digital cameras may look handy but can’t physically house all the features. Your need for a 10x optical zoom or external flash calls for an average to larger-size camera.

Millions of dollars spent by companies on advertising the ‘megapixel myth’ have brainwashed many. The fact is megapixels have nothing to do with image quality. Cramming more megapixels into a smaller image sensor can even lead to reduced picture quality.

With cams available in 1.3 to 12 megapixel resolution, what do you pick? For high-quality prints sized 8”x 10” or more, you need a camera with at least 3 megapixel resolution.

Getting close to your subject is a secret of great photos. But what’s this optical/digital zoom stuff? Optical zoom is the magnification within the lens itself when you zoom in/out. Make sure the camera has powerful optical zoom capability.

Digital zoom doesn’t change focal length. Instead, as you zoom in, a smaller and smaller portion of the digital sensor is used to record the subject. This lowers the number of pixels.

Digital cameras eat up batteries. Make sure the camera you select accepts rechargeable batteries. Battery life is usually covered in camera reviews, so note it. A good camera takes about 100 photos with a single charge.

Rechargeable batteries are convenient, but offer no means of recharging while on the move. If you’re worried about running out of power while travelling, you can go for a camera that uses standard AA size batteries.

All digital cameras have a built-in LCD screen. Some offer crisp renditions of photos, others accept hoods to boost visibility, yet others tilt, twist, flip… All fun features but consider how you use a camera before deciding. If you need to shoot around corners or edges, a movable LCD is a good idea.

Compact Flash memory cards are very popular due to their durability and wide storage range (16 MB to even 32 GB, for pro cams).

In-built scene settings help you take better pix. When you choose a scene, like landscape or portrait, the camera adjusts itself automatically to the settings best suited for it. Consider a camera with an array of scene modes!

Redeye reduction is a standard feature on most cams. But it’s just a reduction, not a removal. If you hate red-eye or shoot a lot of portraits, consider a camera with a hot-shoe or connection for an external flash. Keeping the flash away from the lens reduces red-eye. Want max flash control? Look for a camera that allows manual adjustments!

The best camera for you doesn’t have to be the most expensive or most popular. It is the camera that does what you want it to do.

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Posted by on March 22, 2009 in Interesting Articles

 

A New Engagement

Last weekend the happy news in circulation was of my Wife’s cousin brother getting engaged and soon to be married.

Although the news trickled in from a different source,we had been awaiting it for some time as to being aware of the many thwarted attempts he was going through previously.Finally,we managed to corner him on the instant messenger one evening and he no longer was the Man who belonged to the Family.

There was an apparent energy in his words and it was almost every alternate message he typed in that we felt him getting dreamy.Phrases like “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi”,”we did not seem like strangers” sprouted from nowhere and I am certain all of us who have experienced it will  relate to instantly.

His description of the all so sudden happenings of the engagement and the day after it couldn’t hide the fact that he was waiting for the moment for his life and then the sharing of pictures of the “would-be” was sheer energy at display.

The reason for me to pen down the above scenario follows hereafter,but firstly an important disclaimer

All characters are fictional. Any use of real names is coincidental and purely unintentional. Any similarities to actual persons is also pure coincidence, and not the intent. If one of the stories happens to become fact, it should be considered a lucky guess, and not as a result of any inside information.There are seven billion of us on the planet.

All of us who have been married know the euphoria of these initial days.I know my elder brother’s agree with me on this wholeheartedly.The question is “How do we bless this Man,our very own gender,who is closely related to our better halves and what are the words that would encourage him as well as ground him to the realities of the battle ahead?”

I found no other way to explain him how to be Happily Married Everafter but this short story that says it all(hope he gets it before it is too late )..    🙂

Once upon a time a married couple celebrated their 25th marriage anniversary. They had become famous in the city for not having a single conflict in their period of 25 years. Local newspaper editors had gathered at the occasion to find out the secret of their well known "happy going marriage".

Editor: "Sir. It's amazingly unbelievable. How did you make this possible? "

Husband recalling his old honeymoon days said: " We had been to Shimla for honeymoon after marriage. Having selected the horse riding finally, we both started the ride on different horses.

My horse was pretty okay but the horse on which my wife was riding seemed to be a crazy one. On the way ahead, that horse jumped suddenly, making my wife topple over.

Recovering her position from the ground, she patted the horse's back and said "This is your first time".

She again climbed the horse and continued with the ride. After a while, it happened again. This time she again kept calm and said "This is your second time" and continued.

When the horse dropped her third time, she silently took out the revolver from the purse and shot the horse dead!!

I shouted at my wife: "What did you do you psycho. You killed the poor animal.

Are you crazy?"

She gave a silent look and said: "This is your first time!!!"."

Husband: "That's it. We are happy ever after."

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2009 in My Writing's