Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Touch or Push?

Of the seven officers working in the branch, RKS was most active & well dressed gentleman. Perhaps the most presentable & smart looking. He was always dressed neatly in brightly coloured shirts, matching ties, trousers & shiny black shoes. He liked perfumes & could give you expert advice in selecting a perfume which suited your personality. He was 45, thin & having fair complexion. He looked younger but was getting bald rather prematurely. Nevertheless he seemed to pay great attention to his hair & kept combing & petting them very delicately several times a day.

From the cabin I could see him adjusting crease of his shirt repeatedly or occasionally wiping his shoes clean with paper. He would love to attend to work relating to female staff as well as female clients with a smile. In those moments he would forget everything else around him. His smile would broaden from ear to ear, voice would be extra soft, speech flattering and his eyes would be scanning the female anatomy. He was nicknamed ‘Phanne Khan’ by staff. He knew it but laughed it off saying that people were jealous of him.

His tomfoolery was okay so long as he did not misbehave or was not a cause of any complaint. Staff informed that complaints did crop up from ladies but he managed the complainant somehow & matter was buried.

On Monday there was usual rush in the branch. As luck would have it locker in-charge was on leave & a lady approached me for operation of locker urgently. Lady was very nicely dressed & with good looks & who else but RKS was the right choice for the job. He was summoned, introduced & he gladly agreed to serve the customer saying ‘my pleasure madam’.  Me & auditor got busy & forgot RKS or the lockers. But the lady came back after 10 minutes or so & wanted me to call RKS calling him a characterless fellow. She looked charged up & would not listen to me or auditor & would not talk about cause of grouse if any. All she wanted was that RKS be called & ‘who should be taught a lesson on decency’. She did not touch glass of water or cup of tea brought for her & waited patiently.

As soon As RKS entered the cabin she stood up & slapped him. RKS fell on her feet without a word but she left. RKS said that it was only an accidental ‘touch’ which might have irritated her. Auditor meantime rewound the cctv & found that ‘accidental touch’ was a deliberate ‘push’ on the back of the lady. As auditor questioned RKS, fax, phone & mobile rang simultaneously. Orders for his immediate transfer to Regional Office were received & he was to report to Regional Manager that very moment as Madam was also present there along with SHO.

It was later learnt that RKS had accidental ‘touch’ of wife of SHO!   


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Visit to Chennakesava Temple Belur Taluka, Hassan District, Karnataka - Part II

Chennakesava Temple is situated in a small taluka Belur, district Hassan in Karnataka. It is 220 km from Bangalore & about 40 km from city of Hassan. Nearest railway station is Chikmagalur which is 22 km away.

Its average height is 3200 ft above sea level & breezy weather is similar to Bangalore. Best time to visit is Oct-Mar when humidity level is low.

Belur or Beluru in Kannada, together with Halebidu which is 16 km away were the early capital of the Hoysala Empire. There is a legend about the name Hoysala. It is said that Sala & his guru Sudatta Muni were performing a ritual in a temple of Vasantha Parameshwari in nearby Sosevur & a tiger attacked them. Sudatta Muni gave a call of ‘Hoye” to Sala who struck the tiger (some say it was a lion) down. Thus began Hoysala dynasty which ruled for 300 years with Sala as first ruler. The scene of fight between Sala & the tiger has been carved out of stone beautifully & it became an emblem of Hoysalas.

Of the Hoysala kings two names are very prominent King Vishnuvardhana & his grandson King Veera Ballala II. King Vishnuvardhana was great patron of art & is said to have commissioned 1500 temples of which 100 survived. He started building the Chennakesava temple in 1117 to commemorate victory over Cholas & his grandson king Veera Ballala II completed the task after 103 years.

The temple is dedicated to Chenna-Kesava that is handsome Kesava or Krishna another avatar of Vishnu. The walls & the pillars of the temple are full of intricate & fine engravings & sculptures. Hardly any space is left blank. Besides elephants, horses & tigers, stories from ancient Hindu scriptures have been carved with great care, intricacy of design & poetic depiction.

Soap stone has been used which is easy to work for creating ornate designs. Jakanachari & his son Dankanchari were main sculptors. Others have also been mentioned in inscriptions or have signed the statues. Some of them are Ruvari Mallitamma (over 40 sculptures), Dasoja and his son Chavana (10 madanikas), Malliyanna and Nagoja (birds and animals) Chikkahampa and Malloja (other than main temple).

A well in the precincts of the Temple

Part of the temple is available for marriage ceremonies against payment. Panditji has just finished his job 

Ornate pillars inside the hall are a unique feature of the temple. Each of them has lots of engravings & intricate carvings which are technically brilliant. Smooth surfaces, geometrically perfect designs are magnificent. Guide informed that these heavy stone pillars were rotated with the help of elephants & while rolling they were hand-chiselled & hand polished. The result is fantastic & they look as if they have been smoothened on mechanical lathes. Another remarkable feature is delicate & beautiful bracket figures or madanika’s or Shilbalika’s at the top of pillars. They look so fine & fragile that it is difficult to imagine them to be carved out of stone.

Top portion of the pillars. 

Entire pillar has been divided in to small well crafted windows. Every window has a image of god. This particular window has been left plain without any carving. There are two anecdotes for this window - (a) that artist left this window plain as God is 'nirakaar' that is He has no shape (b)  that any other artist who could carve better statues may do so here
Every inch of the pillar has a story to tell

Divine beauty in stone
Lady feeding a parrot

Lady drying her hair after washing them

Dancing Lady
Lady getting her drum ready for the show
On the right is a dancing lady. The middle one is a smiling spy or Vishkanya with least clothes. Near her left feet is a scorpion justifying her name. On left is an arrogant beauty getting ready.
Lady with a mirror DarpanSundari.

History Repeats Itself

In good old times of great king Maho the treasury & banking operations of his kingdom were entrusted to a minister Baho. This was on account of efforts of Baho that operations of treasury & banking were spread in every nook & corner of the kingdom for the benefit of inhabitants & of course for king Maho. This was done for the welfare of the inhabitants despite the differences in colours of their skins & difference in their faiths. To run the show minister Baho appointed chieftains, sub-chieftains & so on in various towns & bazaars to help the inhabitants. Minister Baho earned great respect & regards from the inhabitants of the kingdom due to his untiring efforts. But you are aware that no one can live forever.

His status of health was being carefully watched by a big landlord Ghato. He was no doctor but his wish of life was to capture the ministry of treasury & banking. He was seeing opportunity coming his way as minister Baho was getting weaker by the day. He consulted his astrologer, his trusted friends & prepared a roadmap to future target. One road shall lead to the palace of queen which shall be travelled by his wife. Suitable jewellery & gifts were packed for the queen. Another road will go to jungle for hunting to be followed by his son with prince. Fully loaded team for the purpose was organised. Ghato himself will take care of some of the ministers in the cabinet of His Highness Maho. Their gift boxes & invitations were ordered. Ghato was now looking for his deputies.

He spotted a suitable hand Hencho from across five rivers who promised to eliminate anybody on slightest hint of Ghato. He would not rest till ministry of treasury & banking was cleaned as per wishes of the boss Ghato. He said he was all thorough his life a lower rung henchman but if given promotion & he was ready to do anything. He said he knew how to scare people & to push them in a corner. Scaring the people gives great inner joy & satisfaction he said.
The Hunter
Soon Ghato & Hencho were in power & in action. Ghato handed over a list of rogue chieftains, unruly, delinquent, undisciplined & unbecoming sub-chieftains etc to Hencho for action. Part of secret list has been obtained & is produced here along with action taken report –ATR-submitted by Hencho. Please keep this to yourself or else.

-Instead of arranging free supply of chicken & mutton to royal kitchen this chieftain AKS demands free chicken for himself from supplier. I don’t like this as I am not getting even a single free Tangri. ATR – The chieftain AKS has been charged with unbecoming behaviour with a client last year & also shifted away from family to eastern hills as sub-chieftain. His sub has been made sub of a sub-chieftain in western hills. Their guard has been dismissed. Area has been cleared for person of choice Your Highness Ghato!

-Chieftain BKS is always short of given business targets. What’s wrong with him? ATR – He has been threatened with dire consequences & far flung posting. He has been booked for lapses committed seven years back. You would have enjoyed looking at him when he was booked – perplexed Your Highness Ghato!

-Chieftain CKS is not seen in bazaar area during the day. How is that? Is he not interested in business? ATR- Horse provided to him has been seized thereby reducing his horsepower. Warned & threatened him Your Highness Ghato!

Hencho carried on the executions & in due time learnt about history of Ghato & tricks of getting into the cabinet of the king. He also prepared a team & in a short while eliminated Ghato & took over the ministry in a coup.

After becoming a minister Hencho came in direct contact with the king & started cultivating him. He soon found out weakness of the king & by attending to the weakness he gained the confidence of king. Slowly his ambition grew & he started preparing for final assault on the king. He built up a team headed by Tippo & after a while he ousted king Ghato. Hecho declared himself to be the king.

Hencho appointed Tippo as his minister of treasury & banking operations. Tippo put in his best & things improved a lot. In due course he learnt about history of previous ministers & he also became ambitious.

Well history was about to repeat itself.
No mistake this time!

Saturday, 5 October 2013


We had decided to celebrate the birthday of our friend RK in Standard Restaurant in Regal Building. It was a nice cosy restaurant a bit pricey but you will agree that birthday comes only once in a year & with friends it is fun time & expenses no bar. Standard Resto was located in Connaught Place which was a convenient place to catch DTC buses after the party to go home.

But RK suggested that four out of seven friends would like to have drinks also. So four friends multiplied by two pegs each will cost a bomb in Standard Resto & at that cost he could bring a full bottle of whiskey with something to spare. He can organise a place also nearby our office where one could enjoy two pegs each with omelettes & still half the bottle shall be spared for future usage. His calculation was accepted unanimously.
After finishing day’s job three of us seven friends walked down Parliament Street to reach Standard Resto as they were teetotalers (good-for-nothings!). Four of us including RK proceeded to tea stall of Kale Singh just behind the Election Commission. RK ordered the omelettes & passed on the bottle wrapped in newspaper to Kale Singh with appropriate instructions in a whisper. Four pegs with soda were prepared by Kale Singh in aluminium glasses & the muted ‘cheers for happy birth day’ went up. At this point Kale Singh also cheered & joined with a Patiala peg. All around the tea stall were govt offices & they also consented to celebrations.

After that we hopped on to two motorbikes Yezdi & Rajdoot to join other friends. We all chatted noisily & a bagful of jokes were cracked. RK sang a gazal for us & we had wonderful dinner. Everybody thanked RK for his organisational capabilities & reminded him of half a bottle kept in reserve.

Birthday Dance
RK was a happy go lucky man who was least bothered about the job or promotion or rules & regulations. He was always on look out for parties, picnics etc & loved to hang around ladies staff. Couple of weeks later I was surprised to receive an invitation of dinner at his place. After a couple of pegs he opened up & said that he had a hobby of collecting superior type of cutlery items & then he arranged a display on the dining table. First item he indicated in the display was a sugar bowl from last birthday party at Standard Restaurant! I was surprised & he was laughing. Some of the other items displayed on the dining table were:

Hotel Janpath ............ 4 spoons,
Hotel Ashoka  ............ 2 forks & 3 spoon,
Kwality Restaurant ......2 spoons & 4 knives,
Nirula’s ........................ 3 long handle ice cream spoons,
India Coffee House ....1 sugar bowl & 2 spoons. Etc etc.