Posts Tagged ‘Nagpur’

Of Makar Sankranti and kites…

January 15, 2012

It’s Makar Sankranti, an Indian harvest festival marking entry of the sun into the Capricorn zodiac and start of winter solstice.  It’s the only India festival following the solar calendar instead of the lunar one, falling each year on January 14th or 15th.[1]  Consistent with the vast variety of languages and subcultures across India, it is known by different names in different parts of India.  In Maharashtra, my home state, it is called teeL sankrant (तीळसंक्रांत), and celebrated with laddoos of teeL-gooL (sesame and Jaggery).

Kites kept for sale this morning

In many parts of India, and in the city where I live, the main feature of Makar Sankranti is kites.  It’s January, sky is bright clear, temperature is pleasantly cool, a perfect time to fly kites!  Hundreds of kites can be seen above in the sky, of different colors and shapes, sometimes as big as a chopper.  Just the day before yesterday, they were attempting for Guinness Book of World Records  for flying the largest bamboo-made kite in a nearby ground.  I don’t know of the result, however.

I can’t fly kites.  My mother never let me fly kite as a kid.  I was the only son, and too much cared for.  Once only I had bought a kite for four annas (0.25 INR) and was beaten for it.  Flying kites can be hazardous sometimes if precautions not taken!  There was a little boy who fell in a well while running behind a cut kite.  My mother never let me fly kite; later I never attempted it too!

A little kid flying kite in Reshimbag GardenI lived in relatively small towns then.  People didn’t have this much craze of kites there.  Nagpur goes crazy behind kites.  One needs to be too much cautious even if he is not flying kites.  Kids run across the roads behind the kites.  Some hanging thread across the road can slit your throat.  It’s dangerous.    I myself have seen one such a patient.  He was riding his bike and a kite thread slit his throat across.  We had to take assistance of an ENT surgeon to repair his throat as it was too deep!  The administration has banned China-made nylon threads this year and have suggested to use simple threads only.

Still, Makar Sankranti is a joy!  It’s a holiday, the teeL-gooL laddoos taste good, and I like watching people flying kites and enjoying the good air!

Notes:
1.  The winter solstice falls on December 22, but for some reasons unclear to me, Makar Sankranti is celebrated on January 14/15.
2.  Both the pictures above are taken in/around Reshimbag Ground this morning.

Of a wonderful evening and National Book Fair

January 8, 2012

What what what a wonderful evening this had been!  I just went out for a Sunday-evening ride and saw an ad of National Book Fair held at Kasturchand Park, Nagpur.  This is a yearly book exhibition fair and I kind of wait for this fair every year.  I saw the ad and then what could stop me!  I had only 100 rupees in my wallet, but said “let’s see” and made my way to Kasturchand Park.

It usually takes me more than three-four hours to go through the fair, more than 100 book stalls each with thousands of books.  Although conscious of my wallet size, today I had thought of only a short stride.  And Look what I came back with:  Eleven books, more than 1800 pages!  I could not resist.  Chose the books, talked to the shopkeeper, went to an ATM, got the money out, paid, and done!  Very unlikely of me, I took all the books from one stall only, by National Book Trust.  They are wonderful people, consistently publishing standard books, and a lot of nonfiction!  I picked every book like pick-at-first-site, without even bothering to peek through it, like I was looking for them all my life.  And look what I came up with:

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Kailash makes his very first Wikipedia edit!

December 19, 2011

I’m quite happy.  Today Kailash made his very first edit on Marathi Wikipedia.  I was almost pushing him to do this for the last two to three years, and finally he did it.  He created his first article about Ambhora, a small village in Nagpur district, famous for its confluence of five rivers.  This article is yet a stub; you can have a look at it here (Marathi content).

I mailed him a little manual this evening on basic Wikipedia editing and formatting as per his request.  He chose the subject and wrote it on his own.  We solved the little difficulties he had via phone.  As it was a learning experience for him, it was a learning experience for me too!

Kailash made my day today!

Codeine cough syrup abuse in Nagpur

October 23, 2011

I was quite disturbed when I had found an empty codeine cough syrup bottle lying in Reshimbag ground[1] a few months ago.  It was apparent from its overall appearance that it was gulped as a single dose, clearly for recreational use.  As a medical graduate, I know what codeine is, how dangerous are it’s side effects, and how addictive it can be!  Over the last few months, the number of such empty bottles lying there have significantly increased and you can find several bottles thrown there on any given day.

Opioid-containing cough syrup bottles found at Reshimbag Ground

Opioid cough syrup bottles at Reshimbag Ground

Codeine is an opioid drug, which is used for symptomatic treatment of pain, dry cough, or severe diarrhea.  It’s primarily an analgesic that also suppresses cough and causes constipation as a side effect.  It is used as a symptomatic treatment of a nonproductive dry cough where the cough is so harsh that it causes pain with continuous coughing, even vomiting with cough, or sometimes even a rib fracture with severe bout of cough.  It is never used with mild cough or the cough productive of sputum.

Codeine is a weak opioid as compared to morphine, but quite harmful on it own account.  Drug abusers use it for the temporary euphoria it gives, but it is addictive and can cause severe physical and mental side effects.  Codeine causes drowsiness, even confusion, and hampers the ability of an individual to perform complex actions needing coordination such as driving or operating heavy machinery.  The effects of codeine get even more severe if it is combined with alcohol or other benzodiazepine drugs; and the user–if driving or operating heavy machinery–can be a great harm to himself and others.  At higher doses, codeine can cause respiratory distress, which can be life-threatening.

Codeine is addictive.  It does not leave the abuser easily.  It causes severe withdrawal symptoms if attempted to quit suddenly, with severe physical symptoms–even greater than mental symptoms–acute appetite loss, constipation, shivering, and most importantly drowsiness.[2]

Codeine is a prescription drug and should be used only if really needed.  There are a lot many safe cough syrups available and codeine-containing stuffs should be reserved for only when they are really indicated.  The bottles found at Reshimbag Ground must apparently be bought from some nearby medical shop.  Such higher-than-average sale of an opioid agent must not go unnoticed by the authorities.  It is quite concerning that your youth can get such addictive opioid at just 68.20 rupees a bottle.

Easy availability of codeine can attract new users to experiment with it, and newbies can soon be habitual users.  It is too easy to get addicted; detox is too difficult.  We don’t have good detox facilities, and a complete detox would need at least a month’s inpatient stay in the hospital.  Hope the authorities would notice it soon and curb any unindicated/over-the-counter use of opioid drugs.

Notes:
1.  A well-known ground in Reshimbag, Nagpur, near Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangha headquarters.
2.  See this personal experience by an addict on Yahoo Answers

Books, internet, and a giant wheel? It’s really random!!

October 15, 2011

I love books, I love the feel they give me while reading, it cannot be felt such while reading books on screen.  It’s fine when we cannot get hard copies, may be the book is rare, or too costly, or just you don’t want to buy it, but still there is nothing like reading a book, in printed characters, on paper.

Definitely, my net habits have affected my reading a lot.  I stay online almost 12-13 hours a day everyday, may be for work, and then for my personal use too, blogging, random surfing, social networking, uploading photos; reading has taken a back seat, it’s unfortunate, really!

A giant wheel at Dhantoli, Nagpur

I had been to a book exhibition at Shankar Nagar today; brought a novel by Sane Guruji Ramacha shela (रामाचा शेला); I really wanted to read something by him other than Shyamchi aai (श्यामची आई).  At this moment, I should have been reading the book, in print.  I am instead tuck-tucking here.

On a different note, sharing the picture of a giant wheel I pic’ed last Sunday in Dhantoli, Nagpur.  I didn’t get a chance to upload it earlier.  Giant wheels look good only from a distance.  I am afraid of even the thought of sitting in it.  So, I have look at it, from a distance.

N.B. Clicking on the giant wheel will take you to Panoramio photo page, if you are interested in exactly where the photo was taken, to be precise, it was taken at 21° 8′ 5.88″ N  79° 5′ 4.24″ E.  Good Night 🙂

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Can I ever get out of towel?

October 10, 2011

This is not a post-a-day post.  I would write it even if I were not on a post-a-day mission.  This is why I had started this blog — The Blog of Reflections — to catch such of my moods, the times when I am lost somewhere, somewhere in or around me, or you, or don’t know where!

I should really take some classes on how to live life.  At this moment, I should have been singing Alvida Alvida loudly with Kailash Kher; I am instead scratching this post lowering the volume of my speakers.

Yesterday, as I was coming back from Reshimbag ground, a 30-something-year-old guy was arguing loudly with his companion on some stupid subject; it was all going in English (so uncommon on Indian streets).  They were apparently drunk, so steamed up, arguing with passionate hand movements, loud voices, a perfect drama.  I sat down on footpath and watched them fighting for long until some other guy came and took them away.  I got up and started walking back to home.

There was some van standing outside the bar.  They were offloading the wine packs from it.  Bottles of different shapes and sizes and colors.  People were coming in and out of the bar.  How lively they seemed!  I cannot even think of drinking, yaaack!  But then why don’t I look as happy as they d0?

Can I ever go out of towel?

Can I ever get out of towel?

I came on main street.  Some procession was going on, Durga immersion (don’t know how it came after Vijaya Dashmi)!  Really loud loudspeakers, heatingly fast drums, some bizarre steel-plate-like instruments making loud cymbal-like noise–mischievously tickling to the eardrums!  Everything so perfect to make you dance, move on the beats.  I stopped.  Watched the procession going, the drummers beating the drums synchronously, in high passion, all in sweats, dhan dhana dhan dhan, guys and girls dancing, playing fugadi–and me–I can’t even dance, not because I have two left legs, but because I don’t have the heart that one needs to dance.  For a moment, I felt I should go and just move, just move as bizarre as I can, that I should forget myself, forget the weight my soul needs to bear 24×7.  I didn’t do that.  I just reclined back to a car parked there and watched the dance with a calm that would suite only to an unrelated funeral.

I want to forget this stuff.  I want to forget what I am; in fact, I need to forget that I am, that I exist.  And just and enjoy the life, the breath going deep in my spastic lungs, the breath coming out of my nostrils.  I want to go out naked on the road when it is still dawn and feel the cool breeze tickling my senses.  I want to go out and sing loud without damn caring about what the next guy will think.  I want to go at some deep dark place and make a loud cry until I lose my sane.

Hmm, enough with impotent thinking–I know I can’t get out of towel even in the bathroom.

Sonegaon Lake: A blue photo

October 9, 2011
Sonegaon Lake, Nagpur

Sonegaon Lake (edited in Picasa)

Day 3: Back from Ramtek

October 3, 2011

Yes, this is day 3 and I am still on.

Had a wonderful trip to Ramtek and nearby locations.  We (Kailash and I) reached Kachurwahi last night and headed to Ramtek early morning today.  We visited Khindsi Lake, Nagarjuna Vihara, Nagarjuna hill, Kalidas smarak, Ram Mandir, and then to a nearby fort at Nagardhan.  We didn’t in fact go in the Ramtek town, but visited all unusual locations in the periphery.  We clicked a lot of photos and had a lot of fun.  We could not go to Mansar excavation site because of time restrictions; let us see for the next time.

Nagarjuna Hill is a wonderful place and I had been to it a few years ago.  The great Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna is said to have spent some time of his life here.  There is also a Buddhist vihara at the base of the hill.  There was a young guy from Japan who came here as a monk in search of peace.  It was too peaceful there, both in the Vihara and atop the Nagarjuna Hill.

Nagardhan, known as Nandivardhan in the medieval India, was a Capital city of the Vakataka dynasty.  The old capital has now remained only as a small village.  The fort is also left in too much negligence by the government.  It is a historical place, we should learn to know its importance.

The return journey was too much of a torture.  I was too tired and the road travel through Kamthi was Itwari was just sucking.  I had a vomiting just after reaching home, but now I’m fine.

Excited about my photos, but will need to do some basic photo-editing and sorting before I upload them, so keep an eye, I will be there soon 🙂  Give me a feedback, I love comments 🙂

Links: ** My Panoramio Page ** Kailasha’s Panoramio Page ** Ramtek on Panoramio

Day 2: I’m in hurry!

October 2, 2011

It’s only the second day of my 30-day post-a-day challenge, and I am in great hurry to find any time to blog, so I am just tucking in this post in five minutes.

It is a Sunday and still I had been in office all the day today.  I have just been back a while ago and getting ready to go on an one-day trip to Ramtek-Kachurwahi with Kailash.  We are going on a bike, so it’s better to reach our destination before it gets dark.  I will be back by tomorrow evening, so I will be here for tomorrow’s post with some great experiences and great shots from Ramtek for Panoramio.

So, grant me a leave for now, I will just be back in a while 🙂

Origin of Nag River!

September 25, 2011

There is an ancient Marathi saying that goes like “You must not try to find the origin of a river and the ancestry of a sage.”  They may have their reasons to say that, but I wanted to find the origin of Nag River for my Wikipedia article.  I tried to explore the city with Google Earth going back through the course of the River, but could not locate the river past Maharajbag.  I could find where the river got lost in all the Google Earth greenery.  I could see another tributary and pours in the river somewhere near Buldi, but it had no definite source found.

The next option was to look in Google Maps, map version, not satellite.  And the map took me to the place where I had not only been to previously, but had also taken some photos.  In fact, the wall through which the Ambazari Lake goes overflow is the origin of the Nag River.

So here is the origin of Nag River for all of you:

Overflowing Ambazari Lake origin of Nag River

Leave me a reply if you find it useful.  Also, tell me if I have made an error.  You can also see this image on Panoramio to get the exact location in Google Maps and Google Earth.