Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas - A Festival of Love and Sacrifice

All over the world, we celebrate Christmas as an international festival with Christmas greetings, sweets, gifts and a visit to the neighborhood church. It is celebrated on every 25th of December. It is a global celebration when all offices, schools, and colleges are closed as a holiday all over the world.

Christmas is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Jesus. He was born as a savior of all people to enlighten them from their innocence and mistakes. And to protect them from evils. It is the love of mankind and the need to uplift them from their innocence; and, to protect them from the evil that made Jesus take a birth in this world. He sacrificed himself for their good and thereafter relived again to guide them throughout their life.

According to the traditional belief, Christ was born to virgin Mary in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, near South Jerusalem on the midnight of 24-25 December. As she had no room to keep him, she placed him in a manger of a cattle shed. Angels proclaimed the child as the savior of all people. And hearing this, the nearby shepherds reached him to adore him and glorify him.

So, traditional celebrations of most Roman Catholics and Anglicans start from the late evening hours before the midnight of 24th December to celebrate the birth of Jesus. These celebrations are known as Holy Night and Midnight Mass celebrations. On this occasion, the Lord's table is decorated with Advent wreath. Advent Wreath is one round garland made up of green branches and flowers which is placed on a white cloth on the Table with a  big white candle in the center of the wreath. The white candle resembles the Christ Candle. Then, it is surrounded by other small candles. The participants sing the Holy Night and Midnight Mass carols or songs glorifying Child Jesus and Holy Mother Mary.

On Christmas Eve, many traditional believers observe fast till evening and they take food only after citing the first star in the evening sky symbolizing the star of Bethlehem. They prepare meatless dishes numbering twelve items. But most others take meat dishes also. It varies from belief to belief and region to region. They celebrate this occasion with their family members and friends and relatives also. After viewing of the star, they take food and assemble again for Midnight Mass. The whole night is passed with divine chantings and prayers.

All houses, churches, and offices are beautifully decorated for this festival from 24th evening itself. During dining, they decorate the table holistically. The table is covered with a white tablecloth commemorating the swaddling clothes of Child Jesus when he was born. A large white candle is placed on the table and next to it the round loaf of bread symbolizing the Christ Bread of Life. Hay is also spread on one side by some people to commemorate the manger of Bethlehem. Others put hay in a corner of the room as decoration.

Next day morning, The Divine Liturgy or The Holy Mass is celebrated. People gather in churches wearing new clothes and observe the Holy Mass Prayers glorifying the great sacrifice and rebirth of Jesus Christ. It is the prayer which is recited by the Priest as well as the people assembled there in a systematic way.Their heart, eyes, and mouth are fully devoted at the Altar. After the prayers, they greet each other with the Kiss of Peace saying "Christ is Born" to each other. The greeted person will reply with the words "Glorify Him".Then, returning home, they take food, distribute sweets and gifts among their circles and enjoy the day with games and movies, etc.

The most popular trends of celebrating Christmas nowadays is to wear new clothes, decorate homes beautifully with lights and colors and with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, and preparation of several types of food dishes, distribution of greeting cards and sweets to friends and circles and enjoyment on the whole day. Children are the happiest on this occasion as they receive many gifts from their parents. It is believed that Santa Claus comes in the midnight and leaves great gifts to good children. But, nowadays, we know that it is the parents who place the gifts to the children on behalf of Santa Claus.


P.S. Images are from Google images.

Friday, December 21, 2012

YEAH... !!! I AM ALIVE !!! The Mayan Calendar Fuss

Yeah, I am safe and intact.

I have survived this Dooms Day also.

 How Lucky Am I !!!

 Nothing happened to me in spite of all those predictions about the end of this world.
Previously also, I survived the millennium apocalypse and now, the Mayan apocalypse.

The other day, my son asked whether I wrote anything on the Mayan calendar. At that time, I dismissed it as a silly topic. But, later I thought, why not write on that fuss. I should follow the mob.

Ours is a mob culture. If people around you talk about something, you must be one of them, if you are to be there.

Prophecies regarding the end of the world have come many times.

The last time, it was in 2000 when every corner of the world was filled with doubts of whether one will wake up to see the sunrise on 1-1-2000.

But, everything went normal and nothing happened. There were other doubts regarding computer workings coming to the halt. But that was also solved by prior steps taken for an uninterrupted transmission of the data from 31-12-1999 to 1-1-2000, without experiencing any problem.

Now, this time, it was the turn of the Mayan calendar predicting that world would end on 21-12-2012.

But, it too has proved false. It was simply a rumor circulated by some people who believed that the calendar was built with the assumption that the world will last for 5200 years only when it was designed more than 3000 years B.C.

Many Chinese and Russian people also believed in this theory along with other countries' people and were making preparations for the apocalypse. But survivors of Mayan culture themselves dismissed the assumption as false.

The Mayan Culture

The Mayan culture flourished during the period of 250 A.D. to 900 A.D. in the region of Central America. Their calenders consisted of 13 days per week and 13 cycles of 400 years each which has been misinterpreted by some of its followers as the lifespan of the world to be only 5200 years.

A carved stone found in Tortuguero, a Mayan ruin site in Mexico, has created all this rumor.

Other Mayan ruin sites found are at Guatemala City, El Salvador of Mexico,  French village of Bugarech and Alta Paraiso in Central Brazilian highlands.

At present, Mayan culture has almost vanished.

Their calendar has also ended and it is a new beginning for them in the new world.

So, next time when you hear of predictions about the end of the world, don't get bewildered.

Simply dismiss them as false rumors.

Be confident that the world will last for more and more thousands and lakhs of years ahead and it will not end so soon.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

MOGALIREKULU - A TV Serial With High Social and Moral Values of Life

A great Telugu Mega TV Serial named MOGALIREKULU is on the air for more than four years on Gemini TV ( Telugu ) channel. It is great because of its story centered around unparalleled ethical and moral values of society. It is great because it is based on a novel of the great Telugu Novel Writer Yuddhanapudi Sulochana Rani. She is one of the greatest writers of novels based on the social and ethical values of life. Her characters are superb in all her novels. Her imagination spins great male and female characters possessed with very gentle and moral values and yet arrogant and dominant to the circumstances. And, the screenplay has been beautifully spiced up with nice and appealing dialogues by Bindu Naidu which added more colors to the serial.

The title was very suitably chosen by the story writer as "Mogalirekulu". It represents the beautiful, fragrant flowers called Mogalirekulu which blossom in the midst of thorns and snakes but remain intact unaffected by the surroundings by spreading a good fragrance and giving beauty to the surroundings. The main characters of first-generation Dharma, Satya, Daya, Keerthana, Shanti, and Selva Swamy represent these flowers who were born and grown up in the midst of crimes, quarrels, and violence between families; but they emerged as good characters with high moral values, with infinite love, and an unbreakable bondage in spite of all those oddities and sufferings they faced. And, R.K.Naidu was the most admired ideal character of all those main characters as evident from the applause and fanfare he received in a very short span of time.

In Mogalirekulu, the main hero R.K.Naidu is such a great personality. At present, he is DG of Mumbai in the story. Previously, as ACP, he has gone through many agonies of life along with the other main hero, Dharma who is the eldest brother of R.K. Naidu's wife Shanti in the story. Both the characters are main heroes even though it was supposed by the writer that Dharma would be the main hero. Both these characters are of superb nature. They possessed all the good qualities of sweetness in voice, humbleness, respect for others and their values, loyalty, kindness, strength to face any type of situations, eagerness to help the needy, and what not.

Dharma was more kind-hearted and brings up his two brothers and a sister and one neighbored orphan girl with love, care, and responsibility. For their livelihood, he had to work under a contractor who was a gang leader and local Don. Dharma was very loyal to his employer who offered them food, shelter, and work. That contractor was also very friendly with him as Dharma was very loyal and protected him from all odds. But due to some incidences, their friendship breaks and Dharma was unable to digest the fact, that this closest friend-cum-employer Selvarajan and his mother Gomathi were behind their and their family's destruction. His conscience does not want to believe this. But it was a fact. There was a lot of inner conflict in his mind regarding what is right, what is wrong, what is moral, what is immoral, why people do wrong things and crimes, etc. Due to this conflict and mental confusion, he leaves all his men and goes to solitude in search of some answer for all this. His acting depicting all these feelings is great.

Similarly, The character of R.K.Naidu as a responsible police officer is very great. He deals everything with a great responsibility, keeping aloof all family matters during work. He faced many worst moments of his life during discharging of his duties. But he was very determined, bold, smart and cautious in all his actions and outcomes all hurdles. His character should be an exemplary example of the Khaki uniform in self-discipline, loyalty, endurance, confidence, smartness, and willpower. The police department should learn lessons by seeing this character.

All the characters in this serial are marvelous. But, what I want to stress here is their acting talents. If you watch the serial, you yourself will come to know how great their performance is.

R.K.Naidu's character is cast by M.Sagar. His action is superb. His expression of emotions at the victims of violence and injustice, his expression of loyalty and sincerity at workplace, and his acting during dealing with his superiors in the middle stage of the story, and his present dignity as DG of Police, his habits and walking style and speaking style are best suited to the position. His other character, as Munna the missing son during blasts, and his portrayal of the character as a goonda (mafia-don) was also very fascinating. His aggressiveness as an angry young man, with a pistol and cigarette and hanging coat during his encounters for taking revenge on bad elements of society and his acting as drinker are all very naturally portrayed by him. His encounters with each and every character are very greatly performed by him with superb skill.It seems acting has come from birth to him. Nothing appears to be artificial in his expressions or movements throughout the scenes.His present portion as Mahidhar Naidu is very fascinating and you would love to watch him stuck to the small screen especially during his encounters with Gomathi.

Gomathi's role is cast by A.Sruthi. She had acted previously in other serials and movies also. Her action in this Mogalirekulu is very great and mind-blowing. Her expression of anger, cruelty, wickedness, cunning nature, etc. are so super that you feel wholly moved with her expressions and become restless to do something to prevent her from doing any harm to your other loved characters. Such is her acting talent. Her speaking style, ascent, and action are very suitable to her role and nobody else could have done so much justice to the role.

The characters of Selvaswamy and his son Ishwar are also very suitably enacted by the actors doing those roles. Previously, Selvaswamy role was done by a person with the same name. His was of a little bit gentle and subtle nature in the beginning when Dharma was associated with him. But later on, the role required a vigorous and more stubborn personality and so the actor was changed. The present actor of Selvaswamy role is doing greater justice to the role. His expressions of feelings are very natural and his physique and dressing style, etc. are all best suited.

The heroine character of the first-generation Meenakshi and second generation Devi till recently were enacted by actor Likitha who is also a good actor. Her portrayal of Meenakshi as a South Indian humble, gentle, and kind-hearted character was very good. Beauty also contributed to her action. Her action as Devi was also very superb. She was able to portray all the feelings very naturally. The present actor of Devi portion is also good at acting. She is also doing her best to suit the character.

All other actors of the characters of Sathya, Shanti, Keerthana, Durga, Pallavi, Sindhu, Shanker, Rajani, Muniyamma, Aravind, his assistant Jagdish are all doing good to their roles. And not the least, Munna's tiny and lovely friend Ali character's actor is also to be not forgotten.

On the whole, Mogalirekulu is a great TV Serial in the Telugu language and it deserves felicitations by all Telugu people. The producers of the serial M/S Srikanth Entertainment Pvt.Ltd., Director Manjula Naidu, Script and dialogues writer Bindu Naidu, original story writer Yuddhanapudi Sulochana Rani, and Gemini TV are all commendable for presenting such a marvelous work to our Telugu Viewers. Further, all the actors and staff of the serial producing company are to be complimented for their contributions.                                            

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cigarette Smoking Is Injurious To Health - Is it A Mere Slogan?

In your daily life, you must have come across this slogan again and again.


Wherever you go, let it be cinema halls, malls, offices, buses, trains or any other public place, you are repeatedly reminded by these slogans and notices to recognize that cigarette smoking is a prohibited, bad practice as well as not good for your health.

But you never try to understand this.

Or, to put it otherwise, you do not want to understand or realize this fact as you do not like such bits of advice or morals being taught to you by people around you. You are in false prestige that you are your master and others are trying to degrade you by giving advice.

When you go to enjoy a movie along with your family or friends, you come across this slogan again and again in the movie whenever the characters are depicted to be smoking. But neither you nor your companions bother about this. In the interval you go out, take a round of smoke and return with some snacks for your partner and children. Neither you nor the others, whoever would have just returned back having a smoke, feel even a bit of guilt-consciousness. You simply continue watching the movie and many more glimpses of that unwarranted slogan. The same thing happens when you watch your favorite TV serials on your small screen.

You have become so accustomed to this slogan, that it never strikes you that it is applicable to you also. You may be feeling it is meant for others, who might be more dangerously smoking. Or else, you may be thinking this way also that since the law is forcing them to flash the slogan, so they are twinkling it again and again, and nothing more than that. So don't bother about it.

Dangers of Smoking

But, when will you be awakening? After smoking attacks your health? Or after some other one, whom you may be loving, is attacked by it?

  • Do you ever know that a burned cigarette produces thousands of chemicals? 
  • Whenever you put a cigarette in your mouth and inhale the smoke, hundreds of poisonous gases enter into your body and many of them tend to cause cancer in you. 
  • Further, you must remember that whenever you smoke, the smoke released will affect your companions also.
  • It is a clinically proven fact that cigarette smoking or tobacco causes cancer. It may be lung cancer, liver cancer or even kidney cancer.

Develop the Willpower to Quit Smoking

So, why do you spoil your life and the life of your neighbors with this bad habit of cigarette smoking?

Why don't you leave this bad habit and contribute to their health?

Why can't you leave it?

Think of your beloved ones and try to leave it for their sake.

It may be very hard to leave the habit in a single attempt. But, you can leave it step-by-step.

How to Quit Smoking

First, you reduce the number of cigarettes. If you are consuming six cigarettes a day, try to make it three or four in the first instance.

Make up your mind that you have to do this for the sake of your beloved ones. Control yourself with determination and try to divert your attention from it.

Make yourself a bit stubborn. Adopt some other alternate habits like having fruit juice, eating fruits, or something healthy with that money. Slowly, reduce the number to two, then only one, and Nil.

  • All that you need here is the willpower. The will to quit this smoking habit. 

  • The will to do something good for your beloved ones. 

  • The will to make them happy and healthy and thereby improving your health also. 

So, the next time when you go for purchasing a cigarette pack, please do think over the slogan on it, then think about your beloved ones ( some of them might be in the heaven also) and have some care for them. Then, you will definitely be able to leave this bad habit of smoking.

Nothing is hard or impossible. If you have the willpower and a sense of feeling for your beloved ones, you can definitely quit smoking.

Updated on 17/01/2014:

A link to a recent report published in The Washington Post dated 17/01/2014 on the dangers of smoking is given below.
Please copy the link to your browser to view the report by Senior Surgeon of US.

Another link: