Archive for May, 2009

Note: Find more on Kamala Das on my other blog: http://arjunpuriinqatar.blogspot.com/2011/10/kamala-das-autobiography-my-story.html

I read My Story during my degree classes, thanks to my teacher Ramamani, who had instilled a sort of curiosity about Kamala Das. The writer looked very rebellious and revolutionary and I instantly drawn towards her works and my teacher had given me to read Kamala’s autobiography My Story. After her demise, I just browsed few passages and here are a few which I got from various websites.

My Story is to date the best-selling woman’s autobiography in post-independence India. My Story is a chronologically ordered, linear narrative written in a realist style. It follows Kamala’s life from age four through British colonial and missionary schools favored by the colonial Indian elite; through her sexual awakening; an early and seemingly disastrous marriage; her growing literary career; extramarital affairs; the birth of her three sons; and, finally, a slow but steady coming to terms with her spouse, writing, and sexuality.

Over the years Kamala has proffered several contradictory accounts of the genesis of My Story. In her preface to the autobiography, Kamala claims that she began to write the text in the mid-1970s from her hospital bed as she grappled with a potentially fatal heart condition. She wrote the autobiography, she states, “to empty myself of all the secrets so that I could depart when the lime came, with a scrubbed-out conscience” and in order to pay mounting hospital bills. Since the publication of her autobiography, Kamala has repeatedly changed her stance on this topic in interviews and essays.

She has presented herself as either too bohemian to care about revealing her sexual adventures and her periods of mental breakdown or, conversely, as the submissive wife following the dictates of her husband who was apparently more eager than herself to cash in on a spiced-up and heavily fictionalized account of her life. And yet, at every opportunity Kamala reverts to the convention that she is India’s most unconventional woman writer with no regrets about her work or her foci.

List of chapters:

Preface

1. The humiliation of a brown child in a European school
2. About childhood nightmares and the only “good friend”
3. Each poem of mine made me cry
4. Nalapat House gifted by amorous chieftain
5. In the secret drawer was a brown bottle which smelt of Ambergris
6. I was infatuated with his charm
7. Women of good Nair families never mentioned sex
8. Lonely Goddess
9. They would have liked him to go to bed with a ghost every night
10. She was half-crazed with love and hardly noticed me
11. The girls in boarding school came from a very different background
12. Homely Annie gets handsome young lover!
13. The nuns used to censor the letters we wrote
14. “I wanted to marry a rich man…To be a snob”
15. We were subject to subtle sadism of several kinds
16. I prayed to the sun God to give me a male child
17. One morning the Sanyasi had gone… Only the smell of opium remained
18. Was every married adult a clown in bed, a circus performer?
19. Her voice was strange…It was easy for me to fall in love with her
20. She lay near me, holding my body close to hers
21. His hands bruised my body and left blue and red marks on the skin
22. Wedding night: Again and again he hurt me and all the while the Kathakali drums throbbed duly
23. A gold coin for love
24. I sent the cook out to get some barbiturates
25. The blood-stained moonlight
26. The first chapter of darkness
27. For the first time in my life I learned to surrender totally
28. My love was like alms looking for a begging bowl
29. I still yearned for my grey-eyed friend
30. Sex and the co-operative movement
31. He walked in silence a few yards ahead of me…
32. It was the beginning of delightful death
33. Passing away of my great-grandmother
34. Again and again the same man phoned
35. Calcutta’s cocktail season
36. I was Carlo’s Sita
37. For the first time I saw the eunuchs dance in Calcutta
38. Delhi streets were fragrant and murky… I felt very young
39. Calicut gets a good crop of lunatics
40. Like the phoenix I rose from the ashes of my past
41. I withdrew into the cave I had made for myself
42. The last of my lovers: handsome dark one with a tattoo between his eyes
43. “I too tried adultery for a short while”
44. I was never a nymphomaniac…
45. Return to Nalapat: Was my 24-year-old marriage on the rocks?
46. Only the wealthy hated me… They spread Iush scandals about me
47. The sorcerer came on a bike at night…
48. The ancient hungers that once tormented me were fulfilled
49. Who were we to sit beside their favourite God?
50. I have ceased to fear death…

Kamala chose quite explicit and titillating titles for most of the 50 short chapters that make up the autobiography. Chapter headings for 38 of the 50 chapters are quite clearly sexual or at least hold the promise of some sexual content.

In Chapter 10: “She was half-crazed with love and hardly noticed me,” Kamala  describes her experiences as a nine-year-old in an all-girl boarding school where she shares a room with three other girls. The eldest and prettiest of her roommates is15-year-old Sharada who has many admirers among the young schoolgirls. The chapter ends with the following passage that also provides the title: “The lesbian admirer came into our room once when Sharada was away taking a bath and kissed her pillowcases and her undies hanging out to dry in the dressing room. I lay on my bed watching this performance but she was half-crazed with love, and hardly noticed me.”

In Chapter 19: Kamala, 15, is herself enthralled by a series of older women, unmarried aunts, teachers, women who are family friends.

Chapter 20 begins with Kamala being warned against associating with an 18-year-old college student. Of course Kamala goes on to describe how in spite of (or because of) the warnings, she felt “instantly drawn to her….She was tall and sturdy with a tense masculine grace….When her eyes held mine captive in a trance, for a reason that I could not fathom, then I felt excited”. In the summer of her sixteenth year, Kamala’s father arranges for her to make an overnight journey by train to her grandmother’s house, in the company of a group of professors and students.
“As luck would have it,” Kamala writes, the “girl who was different from others” is part of the group. Kamala describes the seduction on the train: “I hate the upper berth, she said. She looked around first to see if anyone was awake. Then she lay near me holding my body close to hers. Her fingers traced the outlines of my mouth with a gentleness that I had never dreamt of finding. She kissed my lips then, and whispered, you are so sweet, so very sweet, I have never met anyone so sweet, my darling, my little darling…. It was the first kiss of its kind in my life. Perhaps my mother may have kissed me while I was an infant but after that no one, not even my grandmother, had bothered to kiss me. I was unnerved. I could hardly breathe. She kept stroking my hair and kissing my face and my throat all through that night while sleep came to me in snatches and with fever. You are feverish, she said, before dawn, your mouth is hot.”

A friend of Kamala’s family meets the group at the station where they have to change trains, and another family friend invites the whole group for lunch. The college student coaxes Kamala to bathe with her and to allow herself to be powdered and dressed by her.

“Both of us,” Kamala writes, “felt rather giddy with joy like honeymooners.” By the time they join their group, the meal is well underway, and their host, Major Menon, Kamala wryly says, “seemed grateful to me for having brought into his home a bunch of charming ladies, all unmarried.”

Kamala continues in the same passage to blend this romance with the girlfriend into the romance with her husband-to-be. In the next paragraph, Kamala begins describing her courtship with a male relative. She learns from her grandmother that the family wants them to marry.

This chapter ends a page later with this description of their first kiss: “Before I left for Calcutta, my relative pushed me into a dark corner behind a door and kissed me sloppily near my mouth. He crushed my breasts with his thick fingers. Don’t you love me he asked me, don’t you like my touching you…. I felt hurt and humiliated. All I said was ‘goodbye’.”

The chapter in which Kamala meets and is courted by her future husband is titled: “She lay near me holding my body close to hers.”

In the next chapter (titled “His hands bruised my body and left blue and red marks on the skin”), Kamala writes of the visit of Madhav Das, her cousin and now her fiance, to her home in Calcutta, during their engagement:
“My cousin asked me why I was cold and frigid. I did not know what sexual desire meant, not having experienced it even once. Don’t you feel any passion for me, he asked me. I don’t know, I said simply and honestly. It was a disappointing week for him and for me. I had expected him to take me in his arms and stroke my face, my hair, my hands, and whisper loving words. I had expected him to be all that I wanted my father to be, and my mother. I wanted conversations, companionship and warmth. Sex was far from my thoughts.”

Right after the passage Kamala says: “I did not know whom to turn to for consolation. On a sudden impulse, I phoned my girlfriend. She was surprised to hear my voice. I thought you had forgotten me, she said. I invited her to my house. She came to spend a Sunday with me and together we cleaned out our bookcases and dusted the books. Only once she kissed me. Our eyes were watering and the dust had swollen our lips. Can’t you take me away from here, I asked her. Not for another four years, she said. I must complete my studies she said. Then holding me close to her, she rubbed her cheek against mine. When I put her out of my mind I put aside my self-pity too. It would not do to dream of a different kind of life. My life had been planned and its course charted by my parents and relatives. … I would be a middle-class housewife, and walk along the vegetable shops carrying a string bag and wearing faded chappals on my feet. I would beat my thin children…and make them scream out for mercy. I would wash my husband’s cheap underwear and hang it out to dry in the balcony like some kind of national flag, with wifely pride….”
We never hear of this girlfriend again, either in the autobiography or in any meaningful way in the many critical responses to this text.

In Chapter 22, titled “Wedding night: Again and again he hurt me and all the while the Kathakali drums throbbed dully.” What Kamala records in this chapter is her initiation into heterosexual intercourse via marital rape, unsuccessful attempts at first and then, after a fortnight of attempts, successful. She becomes pregnant almost immediately and by the time her first son is born, Kamala has few illusions about her relationship with her husband. The consequence is that now, aged 17 or 18, she decides “to be unfaithful to him, at least physically.”

Chapter 27 begins: “During my nervous breakdown there developed between myself and my husband an intimacy which was purely physical … after bathing me in warm water and dressing me in mens clothes, my husband bade me sit on his lap, fondling me and calling me his little darling boy….I was by nature shy… but during my illness, I shed my shyness and for the first time in my life learned to surrender totally in bed with my pride intact and blazing.”
She writes: “He (the fiance) talked about homosexuality with frankness. Many of us pass through that stage, he said.”

In Chapter 32, Kamala writes of her trouble with a “women’s problem” for which she requires hospitalization. Here she is tended to by a woman doctor who saves her from bleeding to death when she hemorrhages after surgery. Kamala falls in love with her and keeps going to see her in the clinic, kissing her, watching her, smelling her. She writes: “I kept telling my husband that I was in love with the doctor and he said, it is all right, she is a woman, she will not exploit you.”

Poems of Kamala Das

Posted: May 31, 2009 in literature

Note: Find more poems on Kamala Das on my other blog:

http://arjunpuriinqatar.blogspot.com/2011/10/poems-of-kamala-das.html

http://arjunpuriinqatar.blogspot.com/2011/10/poems-of-kamala-das-part-ii.html; http://arjunpuriinqatar.blogspot.com/2011/10/poems-of-kamala-das-part-iii.html;

http://arjunpuriinqatar.blogspot.com/2011/10/poems-of-kamala-das-part-iv.html

The first poem of Kamala Das I read was An Introduction in my degree. Kamala Das is no more and Ramamani, the teacher who taught us the poem, is also no more. She was the one who brought interest about Kamala Das during our college days. May both rest in peace.

An Introduction

I don’t know politics but I know the names
Of those in power, and can repeat them like
Days of week, or names of months, beginning with Nehru.
I amIndian, very brown, born inMalabar,
I speak three languages, write in
Two, dream in one.
Don’t write in English, they said, English is
Not your mother-tongue. Why not leave
Me alone, critics, friends, visiting cousins,
Every one of you? Why not let me speak in
Any language I like? The language I speak,
Becomes mine, its distortions, its queernesses
All mine, mine alone.
It is half English, halfIndian, funny perhaps, but it is honest,
It is as human as I am human, don’t
You see? It voices my joys, my longings, my
Hopes, and it is useful to me as cawing
Is to crows or roaring to the lions, it
Is human speech, the speech of the mind that is
Here and not there, a mind that sees and hears and
Is aware. Not the deaf, blind speech
Of trees in storm or of monsoon clouds or of rain or the
Incoherent mutterings of the blazing
Funeral pyre. I was child, and later they
Told me I grew, for I became tall, my limbs
Swelled and one or two places sprouted hair.
WhenI asked for love, not knowing what else to ask
For, he drew a youth of sixteen into the
Bedroom and closed the door, He did not beat me
But my sad woman-body felt so beaten.
The weight of my breasts and womb crushed me.
I shrank Pitifully.
Then … I wore a shirt and my
Brother’s trousers, cut my hair short and ignored
My womanliness. Dress in sarees, be girl
Be wife, they said. Be embroiderer, be cook,
Be a quarreller with servants. Fit in. Oh,
Belong, cried the categorizers. Don’t sit
On walls or peep in through our lace-draped windows.
Be Amy, or be Kamala. Or, better
Still, be Madhavikutty. It is time to
Choose a name, a role. Don’t play pretending games.
Don’t play at schizophrenia or be a
Nympho. Don’t cry embarrassingly loud when
Jilted in love … I met a man, loved him. Call
Him not by any name, he is every man
Who wants. a woman, just as I am every
Woman who seeks love. In him . . . the hungry haste
Of rivers, in me . . . the oceans’ tireless
Waiting. Who are you, I ask each and everyone,
The answer is, it is I. Anywhere and,
Everywhere, I see the one who calls himself I
In this world, he is tightly packed like the
Sword in its sheath. It is I who drink lonely
Drinks at twelve, midnight, in hotels of strange towns,
It is I who laugh, it is I who make love
And then, feel shame, it is I who lie dying
With a rattle in my throat. I am sinner,
I am saint. I am the beloved and the
Betrayed. I have no joys that are not yours, no
Aches which are not yours. I too call myself I.

The Looking Glass
Getting a man to love you is easy
Only be honest about your wants as
Woman. Stand nude before the glass with him
So that he sees himself the stronger one
And believes it so, and you so much more
Softer, younger, lovelier. Admit your
Admiration. Notice the perfection
Of his limbs, his eyes reddening under
The shower, the shy walk across the bathroom floor,
Dropping towels, and the jerky way he
Urinates. All the fond details that make
Him male and your only man. Gift him all,
Gift him what makes you woman, the scent of
Long hair, the musk of sweat between the breasts,
The warm shock of menstrual blood, and all your
Endless female hungers. Oh yes, getting
A man to love is easy, but living
Without him afterwards may have to be
Faced. A living without life when you move
Around, meeting strangers, with your eyes that
Gave up their search, with ears that hear only
His last voice calling out your name and your
Body which once under his touch had gleamed
Like burnished brass, now drab and destitute.

The Rain

We left that old ungainly house
When my dog died there, after
The burial, after the rose
Flowered twice, pulling it by its
Roots and carting it with our books,
Clothes and chairs in a hurry.
We live in a new house now,
And, the roofs do not leak, but, when
It rains here, I see the rain drench
That empty house, I hear it fall
Where my puppy now lies,
Alone..
(From Only The Soul Knows How To Sing)

The Dance Of The Eunuchs

It was hot, so hot, before the eunuchs came
To dance, wide skirts going round and round, cymbals
Richly clashing, and anklets jingling, jingling
Jingling… Beneath the fiery gulmohur, with
Long braids flying, dark eyes flashing, they danced and
They dance, oh, they danced till they bled… There were green
Tattoos on their cheeks, jasmines in their hair, some
Were dark and some were almost fair. Their voices
Were harsh, their songs melancholy; they sang of
Lovers dying and or children left unborn….
Some beat their drums; others beat their sorry breasts
And wailed, and writhed in vacant ecstasy. They
Were thin in limbs and dry; like half-burnt logs from
Funeral pyres, a drought and a rottenness
Were in each of them. Even the crows were so
Silent on trees, and the children wide-eyed, still;
All were watching these poor creatures’ convulsions
The sky crackled then, thunder came, and lightning
And rain, a meagre rain that smelt of dust in
Attics and the urine of lizards and mice….
(From Summer in Calcutta)

Love
Until I found you,
I wrote verse, drew pictures,
And, went out with friends
For walks…
Now that I love you,
Curled like an old mongrel
My life lies, content,
In you….
(From Summer in Calcutta)

Winter
It smelt of new rains and of tender
Shoots of plants- and its warmth was the warmth
Of earth groping for roots… even my
Soul, I thought, must send its roots somewhere
And, I loved his body without shame,
On winter evenings as cold winds
Chuckled against the white window-panes.
(From Summer in Calcutta)
The Stone Age

Fond husband, ancient settler in the mind,
Old fat spider, weaving webs of bewilderment,
Be kind. You turn me into a bird of stone, a granite
Dove, you build round me a shabby room,
And stroke my pitted face absent-mindedly while
You read. With loud talk you bruise my pre-morning sleep,
You stick a finger into my dreaming eye. And
Yet, on daydreams, strong men cast their shadows, they sink
Like white suns in the swell of my Dravidian blood,
Secretly flow the drains beneath sacred cities.
When you leave, I drive my blue battered car
Along the bluer sea. I run up the forty
Noisy steps to knock at another’s door.
Though peep-holes, the neighbours watch,
they watch me come
And go like rain. Ask me, everybody, ask me
What he sees in me, ask me why he is called a lion,
A libertine, ask me why his hand sways like a hooded snake
Before it clasps my pubis. Ask me why like
A great tree, felled, he slumps against my breasts,
And sleeps. Ask me why life is short and love is
Shorter still, ask me what is bliss and what its price….
(From The Old Playhouse and Other Poems)

The Maggots

At sunset, on the river ban, Krishna
Loved her for the last time and left…
That night in her husband’s arms, Radha felt
So dead that he asked, What is wrong,
Do you mind my kisses, love? And she said,
No, not at all, but thought, What is
It to the corpse if the maggots nip?
(From The Descendants)

Krishna
Your body is my prison, Krishna,
I cannot see beyond it.
Your darkness blinds me,
Your love words shut out the wise world’s din.

(From Only The Soul Knows How To Sing)

Annette
Annette,
At the dresser.
Pale fingers over mirror-fields
Reaping
That wheat brown hair.
Beauty
Falling as chaff in old mirrors,
While calenders
In all
The cities turn….

(From Only The Soul Knows How To Sing)

I was shocked when one of my colleagues told me that Kamala Das passed away in Pune today afternoon. I had worked under her younger son for over one year.

kamaladas2She was one writers whom we all admired during our college days for her non-conservative voice. The respect towards her increased manifold while reading her poetry in my PG classes. I read her autobiography My Story and had wondered about her frankness. She had not only created controversy with her unorthodox views, but also with her frank and explicit expression on matters of sexuality, which even our teachers felt embarassed to explain. She focused on love, betrayal and the resultant agony in her writings that unsettled not only the orthodox readers. She had sought to expose the hypocrisies of a society living in an illusory world of pseudo morality, oblivious of the stark realities around. She never compromised with the aesthetics of medium, always succeeding in portraying characters and situations in a touching, lucid and charming style with great economy of words. Her major English works include Summer in Calcutta, Alphabet of Lust, Descendants and Collected poems, many of which stand out for their originality of theme and symbolism. The most sensational her work in English was her memoirs My story, which was a tell-all personal reminiscences of the 1970s.

kamala dasKamala Das hit the headlines when, though born in a conservative Hindu Nair family in Kerala with a royal lineage, embraced Islam in 1999 at the age of 65, assuming the name Kamala Suraiya. The conversion, just as the themes of her stories, generated much heat and dust in social and literary circles. Whereas Kamala Das saw Lord Krishna in Allah and converted to Islam, she reportedly regretted for converting to Islam, which was told by none other than controversial exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen who met Kamal at her Kochi residence in August 2002.
The feminist author of Bengali book Lajja is in Kerala in connection with the release of the Malayalam translation of four of her books that were released in Thrissur on August 24.

“I don’t go to the streets, instead I write and that is my way of protest. I was born in a Muslim family and Muslim women suffer under Islam. No one told me to fight against oppression. It was inside me. Women are treated as slaves, sexual objects and childbearing machines,” Nasreen had said.

Contrast to that Kamala had said in an interview: “The purdah (Islamic face veil) that I wear protects me. I like the purdah which Muslim women wear. I like the lifestyle of Muslim women. Purdah is a wonderful dress. No man ever makes a pass at a woman in purdah. It provides her with a sense of security.”

According to Nasreen, Kamala Surayya, who was Kamala Das before she converted to Islam, had now realised that she had made a mistake in converting to Islam. She had met Surayya. “When I asked her if she regrets becoming a Muslim, she said ‘yes’. She has realised that Islam does not give equality,” said Nasreen.

Kamala Das had been admitted to a private hospital in Pune on April 18 following a complaint of respiratory distress. She had settled down in Pune a few years ago, leading a secluded life.

The writer who loved to tread the unorthodox path, had also made a foray into politics and floated ‘Lok Seva Party’, aiming at social and humanitarian work, providing asylum to orphaned mothers and to promote secularism. She unsuccessfully contested a Lok Sabha election in 1984.

Critics often place her Malayalam short stories, penned under the pseudonym Madhavikutty, much higher than her English writings by dint of their choice of themes, style and stunning impact.

Many movies are made on rebellious citizens and their action. People always rebel against exploitation and abuse, more of physical than of mental. Many incidents do not see the light and get buried. But an incident in China is drawing attetion of the world and the accused is seen as a symbol of growing discontent against corrupt power.

A Chinese waitress accused of murdering a government official when he tried to assault her has become the latest symbol of public discontent with untrammelled power, drawing a wave of sympathy for the woman in Beijing.

Deng Yujiao stabbed township official Deng Guida to death at a bathhouse on May 10 in central Hubei province after she refused to provide “special services” (sex). Deng Guida pulled out a stack of cash and tossed it at Deng Yujiao, before pushing her down on a sofa. The waitress picked up a knife and stabbed him.

Deng Yujiao

Deng Yujiao

She was detained on suspicion of murder, not the lesser charge of manslaughter in the case of self-defence, and released on bail on Wednesday.

The case has generated intense local media coverage and criticism from the country’s avid Internet users, many of whom see the young woman as a symbol of powerlessness before officials wielding power and wealth. For many, the woman’s story carries a broader lesson. A group of students at China Women’s University even put on a performance to protest against the case, featuring a bound and gagged woman lying in front of large characters reading “We could all become Deng Yujiao”, according to pictures circulated online.

Over the weekend a group of lawyers, academics and reporters met in Beijing to call for the case to be open to public scrutiny.

Last year, migrant worker Yang Jia gained widespread sympathy after he hacked six policemen to death in Shanghai. Yang said they had beaten and abused him after he was detained on suspicion of stealing a bicycle.

My parents celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary on Monday and we wonder how they have come such a long way together. Today, I saw a report where a British couple celebrated 81st wedding year!

Frank (101) and Anita Milford (100) celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary yesterday. Wonder what’s keeps their marriage alive? The answer is pretty ‘mundane’, regular rows!

Frank and Anita Milford

Frank and Anita Milford

The couple, who married in 1928, met at a YMCA dance in Plymouth, where they still live.

Frank And Anita Milford on their wedding in 1928

Frank And Anita Milford on their wedding in 1928

“Not big rows, just the odd cross word. As far as I’m concerned, it’s healthy,” Anita said.

However, as well as a little argument, “a little romance” is also essential. “It’s our golden rule,” Mrs Milford said.
“Couples these days don’t last long because they often don’t take enough time for each other. There isn’t enough respect — love is about give and take. Our advice to young couples would be to make time for a little romance every day,” she added.

Frank, a retired dockyard worker, said: “To win over your sweetheart you need a dose of old-fashioned chivalry and don’t let your standards slip.”

Their son, Frank Jnr, 74, said: “They spend most of their time together, with Dad almost completely deaf and blind, so it’s difficult for him. Mum is a chatterbox and nothing has changed there.”

The Milfords are now just eight months away from beating the record for Britain’s longest-ever marriage. It was set by Thomas and Elizabeth Morgan of Wales who were together for 81 years, 260 days, until Elizabeth died on January 19, 1891.

After a long time I wanted to watch a Telugu movie just by seeing the poster of it. I felt Arundhati would be different from other love stories where hero and heroine will be busy running around the trees. And at last, got the time to watch it yesterday night when Vij was not there.

Arundhati2

The theme of the movie is revenge and it continues till the very end. Arundhati aka Jakkamma (Anushka, aka Anushka Shetty, a Mangalorean of course!) is getting married to Rahul (Deepak) and celebrations galore all around. A couple from her relatives is visiting Gadwal, her old ancestral property and village where Arundhatis’ ancestors ruled and on the way the couple meet with an accident and visit an old fort to seek help. But there is an evil locked up in the old and derelict fort that is seeking freedom. The evil spirit is Pasupathi (Sonu Sood), who has vowed to take avenge on Arundhati and her family.

Gadwal was ruled by Arundhati’s father who has another elder daughter who was married to Pasupati, who is a hardcore womaniser who goes about philandering the entire village. Unable to bear the torture and humiliation young Arundhati’s sister commits suicide and this enrages the young princess Arundhati. She takes it upon herself to punish Pasupati for all his sins. She gives an order to have him beaten mercilessly and killed, and left for dead. Unfortunately, he is saved by a group of tantrics and nurtured back to health by them. Pasupati stays with them and learns black magic and once proficient in the black magic, comes back to Gadwal to take revenge on Arundhati and her family.

Sonu Sood, Arundhati3

Arundhati though a warrior princess, is still no match for the black magic powers that Pasupati possesses, but yet manages to defeat him by impaling him under a chandelier and cutting off his tongue so that he cannot speak out the magic or use his hands to work any magic.

arundhati3a

She intends to kill him right then and there but is warned not to do so, as that would set the evil spirits within him free which would be even worse.

arundhati-drumsong-aArundhati then has Pasupati buried alive and a cemetery built around him while he is alive. The evil person is imprisoned, dies inside later and waits to be set free from his prison so that he can have his revenge on Arundhati and her family.

Several generations down the line, a girl is born into the royal family of Gadwal. She is named as Arundhati and her marriage is settled with Rahul. By a turn of events, she is lured to Gadwal and to her old derelict ancestral fort where the evil spirit is set free.

She is helped in her quest by Fakir Anwar (Sayaji Shinde).

Arundhati can be branded as new kind of thriller with a high-end graphical and special effects rich movie.
The graphics and special effects were mind-boggling. The screenplay doesn’t deviate from the main storyline.
After watching a few doubts arose in the mind. We are informed that Pasupati can be killed only if he gets to human form, but the evil force doesn’t go into any human body, yet Arundhati kills him. What happens to Pasupati’s mother? Why did she become a spirit? Why did Arundhait’s elder son become a spirit? Who is Arundhati’s husband?

Anushka is backbone of the movie and has given knockout performance. But she is not that effective in her latter role.

Sonu Sood as evil force and womaniser is exceptional. He brings venom on to the screen with his deadly looks as Satan. Sayaji Shinde in the role of fakir is also wonderful. After Anushka and Sonu Sood, his character plays the major role in the movie and he has delivered it with finesse.

But the story doesn’t have emotional basis. The revenge is purely personal unlike other movies. The graphics and visuals in climax look very pale.

Looks like the dance sequence is taken from Chinese film House of Flying Doggers but looks pale compared to the original. Many graphics have resemblance to Lord Of The Rings Triology.

I was shocked to see a photograph which had LTTE cheif Prabhakaran watching the report claiming his death on Times Now channel. I checked in the website and got confused if Prabahkaran is really alive!

ltte“Prabhakaran alive” is what the pro-LTTE website — Tamilnet.com claimed on Tuesday. According to the website the Tamil Tigers’ supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran is still “alive and safe”. This came exactly a day after the Sri Lankan Army announced that it has killed the top rebel leader.

However, the website did not give the details of Prabhakaran’s location. “I wish to inform the global Tamil community distressed witnessing the final events of the war that our beloved leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is alive and safe… He (Prabhakaran) will continue to lead the quest for dignity and freedom for the Tamil people,” said S. Pathmanathan LTTE’s international relations head.

The Army had claimed Prabhakaran and his top aides came out of their last hiding place in a small convoy of van and an ambulance and tried to drive out of the war zone, but were gunned down.

Head of International Secretariat of the Intelligence wing of the LTTE, Arivazhakan, who reportedly contacted Tamilnet.com on Friday categorically denied the reports that the LTTE leader has been killed. Arivazhakan urged the global Tamil community not to trust the “engineered rumours,” being spread by the Government of Sri Lanka and its military establishment.

“Our beloved leader is alive,” he said and added that the LTTE leadership will make contact with its people at a suitable time in future.

“These rumours have been set afloat to confuse the global Tamil community which has been voicing support for the liberation of Tamil Eelam,” he further said.

Maruti Suzuki India said it will bring the curtains down on the iconic car Maruti 800 in 2010. Ford’s model T is considered to be the one car that revolutionised the way people travel. But in India if there’s any car which changed the way the people of the country travel, then it is Maruti 800.

m800The company has a reason to bid adieu to the most popular car. From April 2010, Bharat Stage IV emission norms will be applicable in 11 cities across the country including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kanpur, Ahmedabad, Surat, and Agra. Other cities will still come under BS III norms. However, other cities would also come under the BS IV emission norms by 2015-2016. After that the company has to completely phase out the M800 and the Omni,the company’s second oldest model.

23OmnifrontMaruti Suzuki will not upgrade its M800 and Omni to meet new stringent emission norms, because to meet the new emission norms both the cars have to undergo various modifications that will also include a heavy investment in engine modernisation.

The company’s decision has come at a time when Tata launched its much awaited Nano, which is now the cheapest car in India, a position earlier held by M800.

tata-nano-1When M800 was launched in 1983, the car didn’t even have a name. The makers relied on its engine capacity, 800cc, to give it an identity.

However, M800 has sold over 27 lakh units since its launch, making it the automaker’s most popular model ever.
Now, one has to wait and watch if Tata Nano will be able to hold the same position and popularity among people.

Not many temples remain without being commercialised. When we decided to visit Kukke Subramanya, we never expected that it would turn out to another commercial temple. Not merely, commercial, even caste system still rules the temple. The priests treat people other than brahmins like fools, rather say like mere objects to serve their lust for money.

I and my brother were born and brought up in such a manner that my parents never insisted us that we should go to temples or pray to any gods. It was purely our choice and they left it to us. My dad and mom see Siddharoodha in every temple and every god. For them, it is his other forms. They trust him and believe him. They worship him at home with other gods but never insist that we should pray or visit temples. Visiting temples has been rather a trip for us than a religious visit. Our concept of god and devotion has been beyond the understanding limits of my hubby and his family members. We see god in our own hearts and we believe in the devotion of soul unlike their devotion by visiting every temples and performing all pujas and buying photographs of different gods whenever they visit temples. Though we have had arguments about the topic, neither I was successful in making my hubby, leave alone my in-laws, about my thinking, nor I was able to adjust to his way of thinking!

So, there was a reason this time for visiting Kukke Subramanya. Someone had told my mother that if we do a Naga puja, it is very good for us. She had succumbed to the words of a person, which was evident when she insisted that we visit the place and perform Naga puja. Though my dad was reluctant, he obliged, as travelling to different places is his passion. We were told to perform Sarpa Samskara to get rid of the sarpa dosha. According to belief, a person either in this birth or any of his previous births can be afflicted by the sarpa (serpent) dosha (curse) either knowingly or un-knowingly through many ways.

We four — I, dad, my brother and hubby — started at 7.45 am on Saturday. We had to cover 260 km to reach the place. We went to Melkote first met Koulagis, family friends of my dad, and headed towards our destination.

We got a glimpse of Lord Gomateshwara on the way, as our vehicle passed next to the hill.

We stopped at Sakaleshpur to have lunch at 12 noon. The hotel looked great from outside, but it was not too late to realise that looks can be deceptive, as the food was not good. We ordered for south Indian meals. And flies started hovering over the plates and in fact, a few started sitting on the food. I was indeed shocked to see a small white worm floating on curd! It was a bad lunch and it is 68 km to Subramanya from Sakaleshpur.

Ghat was not scarry and curves were not deep, no hairpin curves and driving was not tiring. Lapped in the luxurious abundance of the beauty of the nature the village of Subramanya lies in Sullia taluk in Dakshina Kannada district. Nature reveals herself in all her unhidden beauty in the rivers, forests and mountains which the temple is surrounded by.

Shiradi Ghat

Shiradi Ghat

Subramanya used to be called as Kukke Pattana. ‘Shankara Vijaya’ mentions that Sri Shankaracharya camped here for a few days during his religious expedition (Digvijaya).

Long way

Long way

The village is situated on the banks of the river Dhara which originates in the Kumara mountain and proceeds to the western sea.

Entrance of Kukke SUbramanya

Entrance of Kukke SUbramanya

According to mythology, consequence to the boon conferred upon Demon Tarakasura by gods, in return for the penance he did, he was not destined to die from anybody, either men or gods aged above seven days and therefore being confident that there was no death for him, he began to tease the whole world, and the story goes on to say that he fought single handed and conquered all the three worlds. The Rishis also found it difficult to go on with their penance and hence they went to Lord Shiva and requested him to redress their grievances. Luckily enough, it was the seventh day, his son Kumar was born and through this child ‘Kumar’ aged seven days, the demon Tarakasura Shoorapadmasura and others in a war and came to this place and washed his Shakti Ayudha (a battle-axe) in the river. From this onwards the river is famous as Kumaradhara. After his battle with the demons Lord Kumaraswamy came to the top of Kumara Parvatha along with his brothers Lord Ganesha, Veerabahu and other aides. He was received by Lord Indra along with other gods. Pleased by the success of the war, Indra prayed the Lord to be kind enough to marry his daughter Devasena.  This was agreed upon courteously and the marriage took place on the banks of Kumaradhara. Lord Kumaraswamy also gave darshan to Vasuki, the head of nagas, who was making a penance there. Vasuki prayed to the Lord to stay along with him permanently at the place.

In the woods...

In the woods...

We reached Kukke Subramanya at 2 pm. Temperature was very high and we were sweating like anything. We went in search of Ashlesha Lodge, where we had booked a room. When we enquired in the reception, the guy told my dad to sit and he would call at 4 pm. We all sat and waited. The guy sitting at the reception asked a few guys to stand in the queue to collect the room keys. People who came just a few minutes back got the rooms earlier than us. When asked about it, he was very callous and arrogant in his behaviour: “You should have stood in the queue, why did you go and sit there?” he asked my dad. An old woman also joined to support my dad, as she was waiting in the reception since 1 pm. But the guy didn’t heed. When our turn came, he purposefully gave a room on the fourth floor, which didn’t have a balcony. Moreover, the soaring mercury levels made it very difficult for us to stay there. Though there were many vacant rooms on the ground and other floors, he purposefully refused to give, which we came to know on Sunday morning.

Sunday morning I asked another guy sitting in the reception if there were any vacant rooms in other floors so that we could shift there. He said that there were many vacant rooms and asked me to collect the key in the reception at 4 pm. We were happy that we would get a room on some other floor, and we will escape the terrace heat. But unfortunately, when we went to enquire in the reception, the arrogant guy was sitting and he said that there were no vacant rooms…

What really hurt us was when we came to know from others that he turned down to give a room for a poor old woman who had come all the way from Kasargod. An old lady had come with two daughters. She was requesting something with the arrogant guy in Konkani. Though we did not understand the language we thought she was also requesting for a room. But we mistook that she was asking for a room on the ground. After a few minutes, she just went and sat on the ground telling something to her daughters. In the meanwhile, my dad started an argument with that guy and our attention was towards that. When the argument ended, people sitting next to those girls started talking about them. They pitied for them and when we enquired, we came to learn from them that she was very poor labourer working in paddy fields at a village in Kasargod. She had come to perform a Naga puja for her daughters. She had saved some money and had paid Rs 1,600 for the puja and was left with only Rs 400 for the room rent, as someone had informed her earlier that the room would cost Rs 150 per day. She had no extra money other than the bus charge to go back to her village. She pleaded the guy to give her the room and he didn’t budge, as it was Rs 500 for two days. He was supposed to return Rs 200 when they vacate the room. People around said that visiting such holy places is no more a religious visit and it is not a place for poor people. We all felt very bad for the woman, but by the time she had left the place.

Temple

Temple

We just took rest and went to the temple in the evening.

Way to the temple

Way to the temple

After the darshan, we stood in a long queue to have prasadam (dinner) in the temple. We entered the courtyard from behind and walk around to go before the idol. The sanctum sanctorum of Lord Subrahmanya lies opposite to the main entrance. There is Garuda pillar covered with silver between the sanctum sanctorum and the portico entrance. It is believed that the pillar was charmed and planted there to shield devotees from the poison flames streaming from the breath of Vasuki who resides inside. Devotees circle the pillar. Beyond the pillar is the outer hall and then the inner hall and after that the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Subrahmanya. In the centre of the sanctum sanctorum is a pedestal. On the upper dais stands the idol of Lord Subrahmanya and then the idol of Vasuki and somewhat lower, the idol of Shesha.

To the north of the sanctum sanctorum, we saw a cluster of lingas known as ‘Kukkelingas’. Some believe that the lingas got that name simply because people used to worship them together kept in a basket. Now they have been installed at the back portion of the sanctuary and are worshipped.

Some say that the place owes its name ‘Kukke Pattana’ to the Kukke linga and they proceed a step further and say that the epithet ‘Kukke’ in ‘Kukke Subrahmanya Devaru’ owes its origin to the curious custom of worshipping images kept in the basket. Some even tell that Kukke must be the Halegannada form of the Sanskrit word ‘Kukshi’ meaning ‘cave’. As the image was installed by Vasuki in the cave, it came to be called as Kukkelinga.

According to the legends, Lord Shanmukha installed Shiva lingas at three places in order to get rid of the sin resulting from killing Tharakasura. Later, other gods and sages installed many more lingas and images. In course of time when the place was subjected to the vicissitudes of the ebb and flow of its forutne, people collected these images and lingas and placed them in the temple.

To the south of the sanctum sanctorum is the shrine of Lord Bhairava. According to the legend, it is Kapaleshwara installed by Lord Shanmukha.

Images of Umamaheshwara can be found in the north-eastern sanctum sanctorum on the innere side of the temple wall. Besides these the images of Surya, Ambika, Vishnu and Ganapati are also found here. Among them the images of the Sunand Ambika date back of very ancient days. According to the legends, these were installed here by Narada rishi.

We saw Vedavyasa Samputa Narasimha to the south-eastern sanctum sanctorum. It is said that the Vedavyasa Samputa and the image of Lakshmi Narasimha were handed over to Sri Madhvacharya by Sri Vedavyasa.

A Subrahmanya mutt belonging to Dwaita tradition of Madhwa sect is situated to the south-east of the temple. It is said Sri Madhwacharya made his brother Vishnu Thirthacharya his disciple and gave this mutt to him and sometimes called as Vishnuthirthacharya’s Samshtana.

Near the main temple, there is the temple of Adi Subramanya. There is a great Valmiki (ant-hill) there.

Adi Subramanya

Adi Subramanya

Kashikatte is at about three furlong from the temple on the main entrance to the temple. Anjaneya and Vigneshwara idols are found here.

There is Biladwara, a cave, at about four furlong from the temple by the side of the main road. According to mythology, Vasuki, the serpent God, had taken shelter and protection from Garuda at this cave. The cave is about 10 meters in length with an entrance and exit.

A view from the room

A view from the room

On Sunday, we were supposed to go for the puja at 8 am. We got up at 6 am and got ready. Climate was so hot that even at 6 am, we took bath in cold water! After having darshan of Lord Subramanya, we went to the place where they perform Naga puja, i.e., Sarpa Samskara and Ashlesha Bali.

Peepal tree at ADi Subramanya

Peepal tree at ADi Subramanya

We had to wait for our turn and we learnt that every day 102 people come to perform Naga puja. Four people can attend the puja in one ticket (Rs 1,600 which includes Sarpa Samskara, Ashlesha Bali and Naga Pratishta).
They let us inside a big hall at 9 am and the numbers were written on the floor. A Brahmin pujari was designated to perform the puja for every ticket purchased by non-brahmins. They know the caste by seeing the sacred thread worn by men here, as men are not allowed to enter the temple with their shirts on.

An old brahmin came in search of our number and said that he would be performing the puja for us. He said in brief what he is going to do and what we were supposed to do! He said that the puja will be performed for two days. Head priest would come and ask for the names of our family members and the purpose of doing the puja. We were supposed to take the ‘Sankalpa’ for what we were performing. He said nearly four to five times that we should keep ‘Dakshina’ (Not Rs 10 or 20, but a whopping Rs 500!) in the betel leaves and offer it to the head priest.

By the time the head priest came to us, it was past 10 am, almost one hour. Our priest offered the head priest a 25 paise coin. We wondered that still 25 coin is in circulation there. Moreover, when it comes to us, the amount will be above Rs 100 and when it comes to those priests, it will be less than a rupee, that too only 25 paise! The head priest came, took the dakshina and asked the purpose of doing the puja and left the spot.

Then, the head priest offered a piece of white cloth to all the priests performing the puja. Our priest gave the cloth to us and asked us to keep money and give offer it to him as a ‘Daan’.

Our priest kept on explaining  how to perform the puja for a brahmin person sitting next to us. The guy from that family was working abroad and had lost his job, thanks to the global meltdown. A person working abroad, his family performing puja, maintaining the old caste system, all were strange combinations!

The family head of the brahmin family literally didn’t know how to perform the puja. It was only his sacred thread (Janivara) which had promoted him to sit next to the priest to perform the puja. Neither did he know how to hold the sacred grass nor did he know how to offer flowers and holy water to the idol of snake.

The head priest chanted the shloka for 2 minutes and all the priests offered fruit, flowers, milk and water to the snakes and took the snake kept to the left and folded in  a piece of white cloth before putting it to the fire pit.

They said that they cremated the snake ritually and took another snake and three balls (eggs) to put it in an anthill, praying that the lineage of snakes be protected. Let the number and family of snakes grow, we prayed with others. We went to the river flowing behind the puja hall and washed our legs and hands.

River behind the Yajna Shala at Adi Subramanya

River behind the Yajna Shala at Adi Subramanya

Then came our priest’s demands. He asked for Rs 500 to buy flowers and a plastic box. He said that he would also get coins so that it will help us to give dakshina. We wondered if flowers would cost that much. When we said that we would buy flowers for him, he said we need five types of flowers of at least one metre each. Then, again he came down and asked that at least we should give him Rs 100 and further came down to Rs 50. It looked like a professional bargain. We gave him Rs 50 and went for lunch in a big queue. The menu had rice, rasam (literally like water), sambar, payasam and watery buttermilk (in the same order). Here they throw the food and we feel like beggars begging for their food.

Then came the harrowing experience of walking barefoot in the scorching sunlight. Our legs got small bubbles by the time we reached our room.

We had been instructed to take bath, wash our clothes and go for a nap, before going for luncheon at 6 pm. We were also told not to eat any rice food and could eat any fruits or vegetables. Well in advance, we had purchased four cucumbers (Rs 5 each) and five bananas (Elakki, Rs 2.50 each).

After reaching the lodge, I and Vij saw a different guy sitting in the reception and we enquired if there were any vacant rooms so that we could shift from the top floor, as the heat was too much there. He assured us to give a room as there were many vacant rooms on the first and second floor. We went to the room with a hope that we would get a room. In the evening, unfortunately, we saw the same arrogant guy, yet took a chance and asked him about the room. He said that there were no rooms and all the rooms were occupied!

A view of tiled roofs

A view of tiled roofs

We left the room around 5 pm and went for shopping. We had been told not to buy anything related to god, like photos or idols, as we had performed death ceremony (Sarpa Samskara) that day. We just enquired in a few shops and stood in the queue for the luncheon.

As expected, it was upma and little flaked rice with buttermilk. We thought that rice could not be consumed directly, but could be had in different indirect methods. They had used rice rava to prepare upma and paddy is used to prepare flaked rice!

Later, we sat under a big pupil tree in front of the lodge till 8 pm and then went to the room. We had to get up early on Monday, as we were supposed to attend the puja at 6 am. In the meanwhile I and Vij went in search of the Ganpati Temple and couldn’t find it. As it was getting late, we returned. We thought of going to the temple the next day and visit Kumaradhara river also.

Though the alarm rang at 4.30 am, we were so tired that we woke up only at 5 pm. We rushed to the Ganapati Temple and reached the puja hall at 6 am.

Ganapati temple

Ganapati temple

This time, they had drawn a snake picture in colourful rangoli. Our priest had brought five different types of flowers (none were even a foot long!). They had kept flowers, a banana piece, betel leaf and nut, two holy grasses, and eight small balls symbolising pinda to snakes. They performed the puja and offered flowers and fruit to the eight pindas, before disposing them off in the river.

Our priest told us to give dakshina to the head priest and take flowers from him. Keeping Rs 50 enraged him and he demanded that we keep Rs 500.

By this time, we had understood the commercialistaion of the puja and we had lost faith and divinity in the puja. It was like give money and please the god, else no blessing. My father refused to give any extra money.

Info board at the entrance of the temple

Info board at the entrance of the temple

We came outside the puja hall and our priest started demanding dakshina from us, even before the completion of the whole puja. Still Go (cow) and Vatu (brahmin bachelor) puja were left.

The ticket clearly mentions that Rs 1,600 includes the cost of everything, including the dakshina of priests and we were not supposed to pay any money. They also mentioned that devotees could complain at the temple office if any priest demands money. When we asked about the rule mentioned in the ticket, our priest said that he in turn would go to the office and complain against us that we were not paying him the dakshina!

Ridiculous but true, another family joined us and told its woes. Their priest also demanded Rs 500 from them and they gave him Rs 300 after a long argument. The priest disappeared from the scene telling other priests that we were not paying him his dakshina!

We went for the Go puja and the person holding the cow demanded Rs 50 from us to touch and take the blessings from the cow!

Later, it was the turn of Vatu puja. It was not one or two brahmin boys sitting, but a whole bunch of 10 boys in different age group. Again, giving dakshina to 10 boys! It’s not defenitely Rs 10 or Rs 20! Young boys earning not less than Rs 1,000 every day!

After that, we went to the temple at 9.30 am for the Naga Pratishta. The whole process of the puja would have ended in 30 minutes, but the commercial minded priests have split it into two days. For them, inconvenience of devotees is next only to the dakshina they get.

My dad went to the temple office to complain about the incident and the office-bearers told him that they were helpless to take any action against those reckless priests and priests. They want someone to give a written complaint against the incident and priests so that action could be taken. Another shocking revelation came from them that the head priest earns a whopping Rs 50,000 every day in the form of dakshina! It is a lucrative business and no software engineer earns that much. Temples and priest are out of the income tax purview and indeed, the priests amass wealth like anything.

There were 102 people with their families standing in a long queue for Naga Pratishte. When enquired, they said that the puja will happen at 1 pm and we went and sat in front of the temple. We almost had two hours. We went to the room, had bath and came back to the temple at 12.30 noon only to learn that they had performed the puja at 12 noon itself. A priest gave us the prasadam after a long discussion and we left the place at 1.30 pm.

We didn’t dare stand in the long queue again to have lunch and had lunch on the way in a hotel. Our car had some problem when Sakleshpur was merely 4 km away. No one stopped their vehicles when asked for lift, and luckily a guy in an Omni stopped and called his friend working at a garage. We went to Sakleshpur and got our car repaired, (battery was weak). It is always better to check the vehicle before going on ghat sections, as people will rarely come for help. And thank god, it was not night!

Men in action

Men in action

We visited one of our friends in Hassan and reached home at 10.30 pm.

Learnt one thing from the visit that visits to temples are no more divine. They are meant to lose money to the demanding priests, who treat us like fools. They consider themselves to be very intelligent and smart, as they act as mediators between us and gods! Wondered how they might have conned and oppressed common and poor people from ages in the name of caste and creed. After the harrowing experience, we felt really proud of Adichunchanagiri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji for starting a vedic school, where students from all communities are allowed to learn Sanskrit and study Vedic literature, which was hitherto a priced possession of only brahmins.

One of my old colleagues, Sudarshan Bharatiya sent me a mail today on Taj Mahal. Indeed, it was an interesting revelation and the pictures with the text made it much more worth to save and share the mail.

IS HISTORY JUSTIFIED??? ??

BBC says about Taj Mahal — Hidden Truth – Never say it is a Tomb.

Aerial view of the Taj Mahal

Aerial view of the Taj Mahal

The interior water well

The interior water well

Frontal view of the Taj Mahal and dome

Frontal view of the Taj Mahal and dome

Close up of the dome with pinnacle

Close up of the dome with pinnacle

Close up of the pinnacle

Close up of the pinnacle

Inlaid pinnacle pattern in courtyard

Inlaid pinnacle pattern in courtyard

Red lotus at apex of the entrance

Red lotus at apex of the entrance

Rear view of the Taj & 22 apartments

Rear view of the Taj & 22 apartments

View of sealed doors & windows in back

View of sealed doors & windows in back

Typical Vedic style corridors

Typical Vedic style corridors

The Music House--a contradiction

The Music House--a contradiction

A locked room on upper floor

A locked room on upper floor

A marble apartment on ground floor

A marble apartment on ground floor

The OM in the flowers on the walls

The OM in the flowers on the walls

Staircase that leads to the lower levels

Staircase that leads to the lower levels

300-foot-long corridor inside apartments

300-foot-long corridor inside apartments

One of the 22 rooms in the secret lower level

One of the 22 rooms in the secret lower level

Interior of one of the 22 secret rooms

Interior of one of the 22 secret rooms

Interior of another of the locked rooms

Interior of another of the locked rooms

Vedic design on ceiling of a locked room

Vedic design on ceiling of a locked room

Huge ventilator sealed shut with bricks

Huge ventilator sealed shut with bricks

Secret walled door that leads to other rooms

Secret walled door that leads to other rooms

Secret bricked door that hides more evidence

Secret bricked door that hides more evidence

Palace in Barhanpur where Mumtaz died

Palace in Barhanpur where Mumtaz died

Pavilion where Mumtaz is said to be buried

Pavilion where Mumtaz is said to be buried

NOW READ THIS…….

No one has ever challenged it except Prof. P.N. Oak, who believes the whole world has been duped. In his book Taj Mahal: The True Story, Oak says the Taj Mahal is not Queen Mumtaz’s tomb but an ancient Hindu temple palace of Lord Shiva (then known as Tejo Mahalaya ).

In the course of his research Oak discovered that the Shiva temple palace was usurped by Shah Jahan from the then Maharaja of Jaipur, Jai Singh.

In his own court chronicle, Badshahnama, Shahjahan admits that an exceptionally beautiful grand mansion in Agra was taken from Jai Singh for Mumtaz’s burial.

The ex-Maharaja of Jaipur still retains in his secret collection two orders from Shahjahan for surrendering the Taj building.

Using captured temples and mansions, as a burial place for dead courtiers and royalty was a common practice among Muslim rulers. For example, Humayun, Akbar, Etmud-ud-Daula and Safdarjung are all buried in such mansions.

Oak’s inquiries began with the name of Taj Mahal. He says the term ‘Mahal’ has never been used for a building in any Muslim countries from Afghanisthan to Algeria .

“The unusual explanation that the term Taj Mahal derives from Mumtaz Mahal was illogical in at least two respects. Firstly, her name was never Mumtaz Mahal but Mumtaz-ul-Zamani,” he writes.

Secondly, one cannot omit the first three letters ‘Mum’ from a woman’s name to derive the remainder as the name for the building.

“Taj Mahal, he claims, is a corrupt version of Tejo Mahalaya, or Lord Shiva’s Palace.

Oak also says the love story of Mumtaz and Shahjahan is a fairy tale created by court sycophants, blundering historians and sloppy archaeologists. Not a single royal chronicle of Shahjahan’s time corroborates the love story.

Furthermore, Oak cites several documents suggesting the Taj Mahal predates Shahjahan’s era, and was a temple dedicated to Shiva, worshipped by Rajputs of Agra city.

For example, Prof. Marvin Miller of New York took a few samples from the riverside doorway of the Taj. Carbon dating tests revealed that the door was 300 years older than Shahjahan.

European traveller Johan Albert Mandelslo, who visited Agra in 1638 (only seven years after Mumtaz’s death), describes the life of the cit y in his memoirs. But he makes no reference to the Taj Mahal being built.

The writings of Peter Mundy, an English visitor to Agra within a year of Mumtaz’s death, also suggest the Taj was a noteworthy building well before Shahjahan’s time.

Prof. Oak points out a number of design and architectural inconsistencies that support the belief of the Taj Mahal being a typical Hindu temple rather than a mausoleum. Many rooms in the Taj Mahal have remained sealed since Shahjahan’s time and are still inaccessible to the public . Oak asserts they contain a headless statue of Lord Shiva and other objects commonly used for worship rituals in Hindu temples.

Fearing political Backlash, Indira Gandhi’s government tried to have Prof. Oak’s book withdrawn from the bookstores, and threatened the Indian publisher of the first edition dire consequences. There is only one way to discredit or validate Oak’s research. The current government should open the sealed rooms of the Taj Mahal under the UN supervision and let international experts investigate.