Thursday

Ruins of Alampara Fort

Exploring new places that too without making any plans, rather like a nomad is the most exciting relaxation. After almost a year in Chennai, we went on a 'wild goose chase', well a rather calculated chase I'd say, because we already had a planned destination, but not the route or stops. Moreover, this was my first off beat experience on Indian roads. ECR (East Coast Road) reminded me of Kampung roads in and around Melaka, Malaysia, where I used to drive along the beach! After few stops for photo shoots, we chanced on an obscure board that directed to 'Amampara Fort'. Curiosity got the better of us and we decided to traverse on the unknown narrow road. And the reward was too good! 


As you can see in the above picture, that place was deserted and I was reminded of the climax chasing/fighting scenes in Indian Movies, where the hero/heroine would end up in desolate places amongst the gangsters. But, the sheer beauty was enough for us to get closer and check out that rusty boards, which might be boasting its glorious past.


Built by the Mughals in the 18th Century CE and gifted to the French. But, the fort was captured by and partially destroyed by the British.    


The most intriguing thing about this fort is that, it was a popular sea port in ancient India and was popularly known as Alamparai port. From here, silk, ghee and other exotic material were exported to distant lands. Come to think of it, the culture at that time was so advanced that this port had its own mint and the money was called as 'Alamparai kaasu/varahan'. Here is yet another view of this fort, which forms a mesmerizing silhouette.


The creaky wretched board at the site claims that this fort is maintained by 'The State Archaeology Department'. Just wondering, if they know the meaning of 'maintain'. It is pathetic to see that these impressions of power and identity of the past are not well preserved.


Wish we take care and cherish our treasures, which might help us to understand our past and probably shed some light on things that would eventually guide us in shaping our future!

Monday

What You See is What You Get

What you see is what you get – Does it ring a bell? Well, most of us in IT industry would have heard WYSWIG interface in web and content designing tools. 

Let us take this concept to the next level, where seeing = focusing!

You see, even while shooting pictures, in mobile or DSLR cameras, if you miss to focus your subject, either you get a blurry shot or loose the context in which you wanted the picture to be. In a broader sense focus is the key to succeeding in anything and everything. 


Focus - Our World

To stay focused, you need to have three things: 
  • dedication - to learn
  • determination - to understand what we have learned 
  • discrimination - to prioritize on what is important while applying the knowledge
Let me explain this concept with a story, from the great Indian epic, Mahabaratha. I have heard this story from my grandfather several times. Each time it used to feel fresh because of the way he made us to see it in different vantage. This is the episode where the Guru Dhron was challenged for his favoritism towards the prince Arjuna who was known for his remarkable skills in archery. It was agreed that a test on archery skills would prove who the best archer is.

A wooden bird, with a painted eye, was suspended on a leafy branch of a large tree. Now, the guru stated the rules of the contest.
  • Every student would get a chance to aim.
  • Before striking they must answer guru’s question.
First came the senior most prince. As soon as he raised the bow and aimed, the guru asked him what he saw. Immediately the prince turned towards the guru and replied that he saw the wooden bird, the branch on which it was perched, and a nest. Then, when the prince shot, the arrow misfired. Similarly, all the princes came, aimed and gave a variety of answers.
  • One said he heard birds chirping merrily 
  • Another  said that he saw the large tree and a nest just below the branch where the wooden bird was perched.
  • Yet another one said that he just saw the bird.
But, all of them missed to hit the target. Finally came Arjuna’s turn, he raised his bows aimed, and stood steady. The guru asked the same question, ‘what do you see?’ Without taking his eyes off his target, Arjuna said ‘painted eye of the bird’! The guru tried to distract him by stating, what all the other students saw, but he was undeterred, and finally when he pulled the strings, the arrow flew with laser like precision and pierced the painted eye of the bird! What he saw was what he got!

Arjuna won because he saw what he had to hit. 
Life is like a camera, focus on what you want, you will get it!



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