Photography is a way of feeling………..From my photo junction….2018 (select)

“The camera is much more than a recording apparatus, it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.”
– Orson Welles

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”
– Robert Capa

“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.”
– Alfred Eisenstaedt

“I believe photographers should shoot what they want, not shoot what they get.” 
– Roberto Valenzuela

“A camera is a SAVE button for the mind’s eye.”
– Roger Kingsto


NO keys, no locks and no doors but a village town exists

I am not quizzing to you that where exists a twenty-first century wonder village.

NO keys, no locks and no doors but a village town exists and engages in all economic and commercial activities. Locking ones’ houses or shops door is never heard or seen by people living in this village for centuries.

I was curious to know the secrecy behind this door less village. When I first heard I thought it could happen only in  dreams.

To get the feel of this village life along with my family members I set out for a trip from Mumbai by road to Shani Shingnapur,Maharashtra,India.

The village can be located just 360 Kilo-ms away from Mumbai,India the financial capital of India. It is a village known by its name as Shani Shingnapur.Shingnapur is in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra state in India. It is about 60 km from Ahmednagar.

A small Hindu temple popularly known as Shani Shingnapur is situated in the shani Shingnapur village. The population of the village is just exceeding 7000.

There is a belief among st the villagers that if anybody tries to steal anything from this village their eyes are supposed to become blind and hence by tradition the villagers when they construct their houses and shops they don’t fix doors.

A small temple devoted to lord Shani is the main center

of attention. It has been told that in this land of Shani Dev, the lord shani has self appeared from the earth in  the form of black but impressive stone. This temple does not have any roof over it like other Hindu temples. Lord Shani traditionally has been depicted as extremely dark wearing black clothes and mounted on a vulture like crow. This shani lord appears to possess immense power to ward off evils that come in the way of your life.

After really experiencing in person what is truth and openness I am not willing to lend my ears to the philosophical explanations on trust, faith and so on.

What about you?

(I share below some additional information.)

Lord Shani – is worshipped extensively across the length and breadth of India.According to Hindu belief and Vedic astrology, Shani or Saturn occupies the seventh place among the nine Navagraha or planets (celestial gods) that govern our lives.Shani occupies the principal position among the pantheon of Hindu deities in warding off evil and to get rid off obstacles.Saturday is the day devoted to Lord Shani.

Beliefs and Life Styles -Kula Deivam blessings to encompass Seven Generations

I know it is very difficult for the Microsoft Outlook to predict a good date and time either for you or to your family members’ to visit a temple of your faith or to visit the nearby shopping mall to window shop the items meant for bumper discounts or in telling you when your techie son or daughter will migrate to greener pastures to grab more green bags! Or when you or your family members will hit a bumper prize in the TV reality show!

I also know that it cannot even predict what emails I will receive in the next five hours and it cannot match horoscopes and find ‘jeevan sathi’ for any one.  It cannot predict how many brands of smart phones will disappear tomorrow or the ups and downs in the global stock market index. We still call this as outlook! That is the punch!

Like that it has been a herculean task for me to request, the new generation members in our family who are far less religious or inclined to follow rituals, to pay a visit to our kula Deivam temple at Perungalur located in the Pudukotai district of Tamil Nadu, far away from the sea of chaos and definitely cannot be ignored by the map makers.

I always recall what my parents used to say when I was young that deeper the root that makes the trees stronger and one has to visit the kula deivam temple whenever possible and at least before or after milestone family social events like marriage or grahaprevesam (house warming) and so on.

symbolic protectionAccording to my parents that Kula Deivam blessings encompass ‘seven generations’.  Really I don’t know why it is said like that. I never questioned my parents’ wisdom to answer all my ‘whys’ associated with this belief of praying and visiting the kula Deivam deity and temple. I just accepted that as a family tradition to be followed and not beyond that. (You may ferry into my earlier post, Kula Deivam-Unique Tamil Tradition)

I am a firm believer in thinking that wherever you are in the globe that no greater heritage exists than family culture and festivals.

If you ask me innocently that how come worship is quite be restricted to the walls of the structures built at a particular place that has been created long time ago I don’t have any bold answers.

A person like me who lived and spent  more than 35 long years outside of my home state Tamil Nadu , India, got perplexed when I came to know that there is a temple for every wish in Tamil Nadu, and calendar dates to tell you when and what to do and not to-do.

It seems Astrology, Numerology and temple deity predictions by priests turned to be as a full-time career option. For hefty consulting fees spiritual and astrological advice is ubiquitous. Tamil Nadu boasts the highest number (70) of spiritual magazines published in India.   Equally voices are also there in exposing all hollow antics claimed by self styled gurus and babas.  Several Tamil TV channels too joined the band wagon in exclusively conducting program and organize events devoted to astrological forecasts and kula deivam deities. I also understand that such time slots are hitting the top viewership ratings.

It is also very sad to note that how the world today is characterized by an extreme avarice even to religion and faiths are concerned.  Who thought even spiritual enlightenment and worship would often command a business trading premium in real life in the hands of temple pundits.

Here I am not going to get into a debate over the ‘whys’ of Kula Deivam prayers or the wonder faith on powers beyond measure and so on. Definitely I am not an expert on this touchy subject.

Ignoring the noise in the social landscape after many months of debate and deliberations based on the dates suggested by Georgian, Victorian, Tamilian, Tamil panchangam calendar my family members mostly belong to the “cool” and  press button culture decided to pay a visit to the kula deivam temple at Perungalur on 6th October 2012.

The experience is great in knowing how Cities talk to you, towns talk to you and a tiny village’s talk to you. I wonder with my bright eyes that how many countless memories must have been created and recreated here over the centuries.   It is delightful to recollect now how our kula Deivam deity at the tiny village of Perungalur spinning out a long history of its own.  It is wonderful to see once gain how every inch of Perungalur reverberates with echoes from the past.