Saturday, January 30, 2010

Native Indian games

Children of my times in 70's and 80's(before the advent of satellite channels) used to play indoor games like pallankuzhi, kuzhangal(pebbles), Paramapadham(snakes and ladders), Daaya kattai, cards etc. along with the above games we played out door games like goli(marbles), bambaram (spinning top), paandi( hopscotch), gilli danda, seven stones(lagori in kannada), kanna mucchi( hidenseek), skipping and other pretend games like teacher – pupil games, chor-police, amma- appa vilayattu which kept us both mentally alert and physically fit.

Native games were excellent learning tools. It helped you to develop sensory visual and motor skills, improved your hand/ eye co-ordination, helped you to count, feel, identify colors, learn numbers and history & mythology. All these while you were having fun. The materials used for the games like wood ,stones, sticks, seeds were also eco-friendly . The games were suitable for all ages and not complicated and so it increased the interaction between the elders and the youngsters and kept them bonded. May be these games added to the native wisdom of our elders who were much wiser.

For instance, Pallankuzhi consists of two panels which are foldable. Each panel consists of 7 hollows and tamarind seeds/small shells are used as coins. This game helps in counting and also activates the nerves on the tips of your finger as you remove the coins from the hollows. Of late this game is also played on mobiles/computers. Here again you play with your finger tips but on a plastic base not of natural wood. It was played during festivals like sivarathri Vaikunta Ekadasi . I too played this game during my childhood days at my grandmother’s place. I have my grandmother’s pallanguzhi and have taught my children to play.

Kuzhangal also called anju kalattam/ezhu kallatam in tamil has five/seven small pebbles. This game is played by throwing one pebble up and collecting the remaining pebbles before the thrown one comes down. I have seen the construction labourers near my complex playing this game during free time. This game helps in hand/eye co-ordination.

Paramapadham is perhaps the origin of the board game snakes and ladders. 100 squares having snakes and ladders some small and some big, here and there. Dice is thrown and the number on the dice will be the moves you make across the board. If you place the move on the base of the ladder you ascend to the top end of the ladder and if you place the move on the mouth of the snake then you descend down to where the tail of the snake ends. This game teaches you to handle success and disappointments alike. This is still played by some of the children.

Daaya kattai: In this game there are many versions like 5 house, 9 house etc. In the 5 house version you make a matrix of 5 rows and columns and stroke off the middle house with a X . Roll the dice and move across the houses on the outer matrix. The innermost middle square is the home/endpoint where you have to reach. To reach the home you have to go around the innermost matrix. To enter in you have to knock off your opponents coins. Here again you and your opponent will have 4 coins each of different make like tamarind seeds, shells, match sticks etc. Usually all coins are taken from nature. Each coin has to reach home . The one who reaches all the coins first is considered the winner. Here the rolling dice is made of wood/metal called daaya kattai. You have to roll the dice with both your palms before you put it on the ground. This rolling of the metal pieces activates all the nerves and help the flow of blood on your palms. I and my friend shammi used to play this game with our neighbouring old aunties. Now sharun and shreya play with my father during summer vacation.

Playing cards was another past time in our house with my mom and atthai ( father’s sister) teaming together against appa and chittappa( father’s brother). It was good relaxation for them after their daily work and it was fun to see them having mock fights saying each one cheated the other.

Not many children of the present generation are even aware of these games. With no play ground near home/school They are addicted to modern form of e- games/satellite channels and also become sure shot candidates for all lifestyle diseases.
Modern games are also good and educative but only they are more expensive and are made from materials which are not perishable. They end up as e-waste and also weaken us physically making our eyes, neck, shoulder and limbs stiff. They pin us down to a postion. The special effect sound is not pleasing to your ears.

I think we as parents should help our kids strike a balance. Teach and educate them about our traditional games and rich past along with their new gizmos & technology.

Today, I am glad many foundations and companies like Marabhu and Kreeda are bridging the gap. Games like pallanguzhi are available in upmarket stores and cultural stores. The games are revived during cultural festivals like Mylapore festival held in Jan at Chennai.

Long live our native games.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Paradise - Mylapore

The Mylapore festival starts today. This 4 day festival capsules the lovely vintage life of Mylapore. Kudos to the organizers for organizing such festivals and sending many old mylaporeans down the nostalgic lane.

I am very possessive about mylapore and whenever some one mentions the place, I strongly feel it is mine and i know the place better. Off late, though i must admit I've never visited mylapore much. My two day visit to chennai does not permit to visit this heaven. Sigh!. Anyways, I rewind my memories of my birthplace and favorite vacation spot during the 70’s & 80’s.

Though raised in Bangalore, I and my cousins (minus my sister who was always sticking to my mom’s pallu and stayed back in Bangalore) spent our summer and winter vacation at Mylapore along with my maternal grandparents, uncles and aunts.

My dear Mylapore has a rich history and culture. The beautiful potpourri of colourful flower shops, kunkum shops,vegetable market, sounds of the temple bells & cycle bells of rickshaws and cyclists selling soan papdi, fragrance of flowers and aroma of traditional food, the mada veedhis(streets around temple) filled with jewellery shops like sukra, cloth stores like rasi silks, a divine shop called Giri trading selling all religious and pooja items, Shanthi dresses – the one stop shop for all dancers in India and abroad, Ambika Appalam depot selling appalams, vattals, ready mix powders, Sri vidya manjal kunguma kadai- the shop which religiously follows the adage ‘work is worship. They prepare the best quality manjal & kungumam in the most traditional way, The narrow by lanes dotted with provision stores like Sankar stores, Leo coffee and Prakash coffee, the dabba chetty kadais, thattan kadais( gold smiths), sweet shops selling murukku, thattai, kara sevai, shops selling betel leaves and goli soda. All these and much more surround the heart of Mylapore – The 300 year old Kapali koil.

My grand father instilled in us( cousins) a discipline to attend the temple daily for worship , So it was in our daily routine to visit the huge temple daily after our bath. This temple's gopuram was visible from our terrace on kutcheri road. An average mylaporean’s life revolved around this temple. The locality owes its name to this temple, also called Mayilapuri( the city of peacock). The temple has a big pond/tank called Chittiraikulam .
During the teppam( float festival) held here There is a small mantap in the center of this huge tank and the God is taken to the center of this mantap on a float decorated with beautiful serial lights late in the evening. There are many petty shops pitched up here during festival time selling bangles, chains, toys, dresses etc. During Chariot Festival (Ther), my uncles used to go to pull the ther(chariot) with all the people stamping one another's feet. Residents of mada street used to throw water from rooftops to keep the devotees away from the scorching sun. Next day "Arupathu Moovar", Patti and mami's would be busy churning the curd to make 'neer more'( butter milk). We would take the neer more,sit on the steps of senghazhineer pillaiyar koil and offer to passersby to quench their thirst.By late evening the utsava murthy's like vellai sami( deity) used to pass by our house in a chariot. We would come out of our house to offer coconut and camphor to the god pasing by our door step. Every temple festival was like a festival at home for us.

Just visualizing all these transports me to an atmosphere charged with festivity.

There are also many traditional houses around the mada veedhi called agraharams which are residences of practicing Brahmins. These houses have seating place outside the house called 'thinnai' and all these houses have open courtyard in the middle of the house with a tulsi maadam(Brindavan). The dhoti clad mamas and madisar mamis here wake up to the melodius suprabhatam( a song played in the morning to wake up) and to the aroma of the kapi. The way this degree kapi is made in these households is a delight to watch.The kapi is served in steel tumbler and davara(rimmed saucer). The liquid is cooled from the tumbler to the davara and back without spilling. The end product is a frothy cup of kapi in the steel tumbler which would put any expresso/capuccino out of race.

Many traditional economical eateries like Karpagambal mess, rayars café where tastes are simple divine dot here.

A little away from the tank is The Luz corner. Another shoppers paradise, where you can shop till you drop at crores & crores, Trillions & trillions, millions & millions,shanti vihar complex, Kasi cut piece corner, vitan super market. Bow your head to Luz vinayagar here, have a bite of cake at Universal Bakery and a cool sip of flavored milk at Aavin, buy the best hosiery at reasonable rates at Hari’s and head into Kutcheri road.

All a mylaporean had to do was to list his tasks and finish it off with a walk around the temple.

Mylaporeans are blessed to have many temples, churches and mosques in their vicinity. Along with kapali koil you have the mundakanni amman koil, senghazhineer pillaiyar koil, Madhavaperumal koil, luz navasakthi vinayakar, Luz anjaneyar, karaneeswararkoil, the sai baba koil and many more.

It also boasts of a beautiful beach called Santhome beach. On the shores of the beach is the santhome cathedral.

You can walk to the best of sabhas ( cultural academy) here at Bhaaratiya vidya bhavan, Vani Mahal, Mylapore fine arts club ,Narada Gana Sabha Parthasarathy gana sabha etc. where the music fest is conducted every december. This fest is unparalleled in the world.

The best of educational institutions like Lady sivaswami ayyar girls school( my mom and perimma's school), P.S senior secondary school( sundar mama's school), Rosary matriculation where ramani chitti schooled, St. Bede's ( ravi mama's school), Vidya mandir and many more are located here.

Very good music and instrumental teachers had their houses here, Like Veenai Pitchumani, MSS. Mrs. Meenakshi ammal, the author of the most famous cook book 'cook & see' stayed right opposite the teppa kulam.

Today many new establishments have been set up around mylapore like Citi center mall and other glass facaded buildings. They co- exist with all the small shops selling jewels, silks and flowers serving as a gentle reminder that some things never change and are here to stay. This place has still retained its old world charm and today links and blends the tradition & modernity.

Mylapore, - a blessed place is a paradise for me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Temples of Dakshin Kannada Part II

This is part II of my trip to temple towns of Dakshin Kannada.

Kollur is renowned for Shree Mookambika temple – an important seat of Shakthi worship. It is on the Banks of River Sauparnika surrounded by thick forest and has a natural formation resembling Sri Chakra. The main deity in the temple is Jyothirlinga (Lord Shiva). This is in front of the idol of Godess Mookambika. It is believed Adi Sankaracharya ( founder of shaivism sect in India) is said to have installed metal image of the Goddess. Adi Shankara is reported to have composed 'Soundarya Lahiri’ here. Soundarya lahiri is a composition of verses in praise of the beauty of the Goddess. We had a nice darshan . The crowd was limited and then walked down to the sauparnika river , waded in the water and left to Shringeri.

Shringeri: When we reached sringeri a little after mid morning we dropped our belongings in a huge community hall belonging to the math. From here, we proceeded to Horanadu.

Horanadu. We reached around 5 in the evening. It was the twilight time and slighty darker . Our bus reached a spot close to the river Bhadra. Now we had to cross the River Bhadra to reach the other side of the bank to trek to the temple. We had people of all ages in our team . We held the hands of one another formed a chain and crossed the river which was wider. It was a wonderful experience. Then we trekked up to reach the abode of Annapoorneshwari Temple located in the picturesque surroundings of the Western Ghats of Karnataka , 100 kms southwest of Chikmagalur, surrounded by dense forests and valleys. The deity is covered with gold. At that time there was no sanctum and there was just a thick rope separating you and the god.

Now the temple has been renovated and provisions are made for pilgrims to stay over night. After the darshan we went to Kalasa , a place very close to Horandu and had darshan of Lord Shiva (called Kalseshwara here) . From there to Sringeri where we had already dropped our baggage.

According to legend, Sringeri was discovered by Sri Sankaracharya. While Adi Shankaracharya was walking by the Tunga river, he saw a cobra with a raised hood, providing shadow from the scorching rays of the hot sun, to a frog about to spawn. Impressed with the place where natural enemies had gone beyond their instincts, he selected this place and decided to stay here and teach his disciples and stayed here for twelve years. The temple here is dedicated to Goddess Sharada, The goddess of learning & wisdom. This was also installed by Adi shankara.

Managed to reach the sringeri temple just before the evening closing time. The beauty of the flower bedecked Goddess mesmerized us. I have no words in my vocabulary to describe The beauty and calmness of the deity. I could feel the presence of peace in my mind at the mere sight of the goddess. Again the temple was not crowded and we could connect with the goddess well.

The temple complex also is home to vedic schools, temples of Vidya shankara, Hayagriva and it is also one of the four mutts established by Adi shankara.
At night we rested at the choultry. A huge hall where all the 45 of us were accommodated. The elders were tired and slept soundly. But we children(in 1993) started playing anthakshri and dumb charades. We were hushed by the elders periodically.

Next day morning we went again to the temple sat through the puja visited the small temple, vedic schools, the samadhis of the seers and by evening we started towards Bangalore.

All through the ghat section we were visually treated to the beauty of nature , The lofty hills where water cascaded down and fell on you in light showers when you were winding on the western ghats road, rivers like tunga, bhadra, sauparnika, nandini, dense forests , beautiful valleys etc topped with good food prepared by the travels crew.

An absolutely entertaining and divine journey to the temple towns of Dakshin Kannada came to an end on the morning of 16th Jan when we reached Bangalore.

Temple historyCourtesy : Karnataka Vision

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Season of harvest - Pongal

Pongal – traditionally, a celebration of prosperity associated with the harvest of crops is here this season. Since the sun and cow(for tilling) are vital to the growth of crops, this festival is a thanksgiving to the sun god and cow. Pongal in tamil means ‘boiling over’. This is also known as ‘Tamizhar thirunal’ or the festival of tamils. It is celebrated in a grand way in villages by farmers.

It is a very old festival dating back to the Sangam age(between 200- 300 Bc ) when forms of nature were revered and worshipped by men. It marks the end of winter and the arrival of spring- the beginning of ‘ Uttarayana’ during which the sun moves northward for a 6 month period .

On the first day of the tamil month “Thai’ the sun leaves tropic of cancer and enters the sign of Capricorn(makara). Uttarayan is considered auspicious as this is the time when the day of God begins after a six month long night. ( six months are one night and the next six months are one day for god)

The dates of the festival are constant every year between 13 -15th of Jan every year & each day has a special significance.

The first day is bhogi. This is celebrated on the last day of the tamil month Marghazhi. Bhogi suggests the end of old and the birth of new. All old clothes and unwanted clutter are burnt outside the house in a bonfire . The farmers throw away all old marams( used for chaffing the rice) into the bonfire. Houses are cleaned and painted. This day is celebrated in honor of Lord Indra who is the provider of rains. This day along with regular Sambhar and rasam, payasam and vada are also made.

The second day is called Surya pongal. Thanksgiving to the sun god or Surya who is the chief of the hindu solar deity for providing prosperity. On this day Sweet Pongal and Ven pongal(spiced rice) are made with newly harvested rice in mudpots until it bubbles and frothes out of the pot. The bubbling of the pongal represents plentiful and excess yield of the harvest and is considered joyous. It is tradition to shout ‘Pongal – o- Pongal ‘ at the bubbling pot tied with stems and leaves of gingerplant and turmeric plant. On either side of the pot two fully grown sugarcane plants are kept to signify the arrival of sweetness in life.To accomapany ven pongal- a spicy side dish made of 7 vegetables(generally grown on creeper like garden beans, pumpkin, ashgourd, beans, cluster beans and tubers like yam,colocassia, potato, sweet potato etc.)is made

The third day is Mattu pongal. Mattu in tamil is cattle. This occasion is to pay your thanks to the cattle that provide milk and are used to till the lands. The cattle is decorated with bells, balloons and horns are painted in vibrant colors.
Mixed rice like tamarind rice, lemon rice, coconut rice and curd rice are made this day along with aviyal(vegetable medley in coconut gravy) fried papads and vadams( sun- dried wafers fried in oil). All the preparations are then made into picnic hamper and the people living in towns and cities closer to River cauvery carry it to the banks and enjoy their feast on the river banks. This helps in forging sweet bonds between people. Rasam and sambhar are not prepared on mattu pongal.

This day ‘ kanu’ is also celebrated. This is similar to Raksha bandhan of northern India . On this day, sisters pray for the well- being of their brothers. The sisters get up early and place left overs of the previous days food ( they prepare in excess for this purpose) on banana leaves for the crows and birds to eat . They pray to god that their family should be united like the flock of birds.

In the southern districts of Tamilnadu - a bull taming contest called ‘Jalli kattu' is organized where a man has to tame a violent bull . If he tames the bull he gets the prize money tied to the horns of the bull. This is a very dangerous game and every year during pongal it is a popular topic of political debate in the Tamil nadu state assembly whether this game should continue or not?.

It is also the time for kummi and kolattam and other traditional dances. They draw huge kolams (rangoli pattern) in front of the house. This is a symbol of welcoming the guests. Sugar cane is chewed in plenty to denote joy and sweetness which is to come.

Pongal is celebrated throughout India on the same day in different regions of the country with different festivities though the general spirit of happiness, joy and bonhomie remains same across all regions. It is called Bhogali Bihu in Assam, Makar Sankranthi in UP, MP, Karnataka, AP & Bihar, Lohri in Punjab. Kite flying is an other speciality during this time. Since the climate is conducive for flying and your kites soar high in the sky while you tug and have control of the kite.

But today thanks to urbanization ,materialization , deforestation and joint families disintegrating into nuclear families and what with women also working outside home , Most of us (including me ) have totally deviated from the main path of the festivities.

Today the festival has taken a different meaning. Agricultural land is getting converted to concrete jungles/ industrial towns on the outskirts , farmers also changing their vocation due to paucity of rains and selling the land to the urban businessman. Hope things change this season for good and bonds of sweetness and peace prevail.

It is a holiday in most parts of India. An occasion to get up late. Watch TV Programs , eat pongal cooked in cooker, after a siesta go for an outing if you wish / may be a watch a pongal release movie . It has lost its original significance.

Indian festivals are basically an occasion for families to get together , recreate and relish good food. They are great stress busters and act as speed breakers for today’s fast paced life.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Temples of Dakshin Kannada Part I

Flash back to this day in 1993. We undertook a 3 day trip to all the temples on the western ghats of Karnataka.

My family( mom,dad, sis and me), My aunts, uncles , my cousins Uma, Nalini, Ganesh, Cheeru , Preetha and Naveen along with our other extended relatives numbering more than 50 hired a bus from Bhageerathi travels at Netkallappa circle, Basavanagudi.

We started on the night of 12th Jan from Gavipuram extension – our boarding point. We travelled 350 kms via Hassan to reach Dakshin Kannada. The fun we had in the bus consisting of ages between 5-70 is beyond words.

Day 1 Our stop was in the morning at Kukke Subrahmanya Kshetra . It is a village blessed with river Kumaradhara and beautiful mountains like Kumara Parvata . The temple here is dedicated to Lord Subrahmanya who had manifested with Vasuki (the king of serpents). The temple has a snake pit which is worshipped here and the mud from the pit is considered as prasadam instead of sacred ash. From there we drove to Dharmasthala.

Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala is the abode of Manjunatha swamy on the banks of River Nethravathy. The main deity is in gold. A very well managed and pilgrim friendly place is Dharmasthala. There are various guesthouses matching 5 star hotels in cleanliness and décor. The dining hall Annapoorna serves free food to all the pilgrims from their mechanized kitchen. There are many places of interest in Dharmasthala like the vintage car museum, Manjusha an artifact museum and a statue of Bahubali. After seeing all these we rested our tired body at the Guesthouse.

Day2: We set out to picutresque Kateel located 26 kms from Mangalore. This place is the abode of Goddess Durga parameshwari on the banks of river Nandini. After a good darshan we travelled to our next stop at Udipi.

When we spent our time having darshan, The bhageerathi travels crew were busy cooking tasty food for us on open grounds with the raw materials they had bought. Delicious whole some foods were catered to all the fifty of us along with sweets. The sweets like kai holige( dry coconut Puran poli) and rations were brought by them from Bangalore to suffice for 3 days. We generally had food made from the travels though there were exceptions like Dharmasthala and Udipi.

Now over to udipi.

Udipi is a divine place and is famous for the temple of Lord Krishna. A beautiful dark bejeweled Krishna is the main deity. Another prominent place is the’ Kanakini kindi’ literally meaning kanaka’s window . This is a window by the side of the temple through which one can see the deity. It is through this window Lord Krishna gave darshan to Kanaka dasa – a devotee when he was refused the entry into the temple. Udipi is also synonymous with Indian Brahmin cuisine world wide. Their dishes are mainly sweetish due to the presence of fruits and coconut. Will share more about this in a later blog.

From Udipi we drove to Malpe beach. The beach was non-commercial and hence very clean in 1993. All of us played with the waves of the Arabian sea for some time. After having our fill of fun , we now left for Kundapur.

At Kundapur we visited the Kotilingeshwar temple. As the name suggests there are koti lingams (crores of lingams very small and cannot be seen by us except the big one which is the main deity). This is a big temple except us there were not many people. Inspite of it being pongal it was not looking festive but it was very clean. Dakshin Kannada does not celebrate sankranthi/ pongal. According to our itinerary we were supposed to drive towards Murdeshwar. Unfortuntely one of the senior citizen oldest lady who happened to be the mother of my Uncle’s B-I-L’s brother’s mother in-law(Is your head reeling?) took seriously ill.

Now all her sons took her to Manipal Hospital. The doctors had lost hopes on their case. The rest of the 45 spent our night in a choultry close to the temple . We children as always were making merry with games and pranks unaware of the old lady. Miraculously the old lady went on to improve her health though she had to be treated at the hospital and lived longer than her healthy daughter-in-law.

Now murdeshwar was knocked from our itinerary due to time lost in Kundapur.
Next day morning we resumed our 40 kms journey towards Kollur at the foot of Western Ghats.

More about Kollur, Sringeri, Horanadu and kalasa in part II

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ramana Jayanthi

The great spiritual guru Ramana Maharishi was born on this day.

Ramana Or Ramana Maharishi is a great magnet. His pull is irresistible. This day (full moon day of Margazhi) Ramana Jayanthi is celebrated all over the world by Ramana devotees. My maternal grand father N. Sambasiva iyer , a water diviner (dowser) by profession was an ardent Ramana devotee. My elder mama fondly called Sundar was Sundar Ramanan and my youngest aunt was Ramani , both were named after him.

Every year my grandfather used to celebrate Ramana jayanthi at home ( 58,kutcheri road, Madras) with great devotional fervor. I recall one such jayanthi from the early 80’s. The big 3 ftx2 ft 3 dimensional photo was brought down to the hall downstairs from my thatha’s room upstairs. It had internal lightings which when switched on would make Ramana’s photo come alive. Ramana’s Akshara manamalai ( a song composition) was played on the tape recorder. We grandchildren( numbering 10) would pitch in by bringing pooja items , flowers and fruits to the puja place. We would go around keeping chandan and kumkum on all the photos. Thatha would perform the puja and we all would sit around with rapt attention. The puja would end with an arathi. After the puja, we all would sit around for a grand feast with payasam, vadai etc.

My mom , Vardhini has had the great privilege of seeing Ramana, When she was around 5, she was taken to Tiruvanna malai( in Tamil nadu) where her paternal grandfather Narayana iyer who retired as a post master general settled in one of the cottages of the ashram. She visited the ashram and was blessed with a mambazham(ripe mango) from Ramana. My grand father got the opportunity to dowse wells at the ashram.

My younger mama Ravi recalled to me an incident in which once thatha and patti( my grandmother) had planned a trip to Trichy to attend a wedding. At the last moment, my thatha suddenly developed severe head ache because of which he cancelled the train journey. After some time he called out loudly 'Ramana' and immediately his headache subsided. By then it was too late to catch the train.

Guess what was in the news the next day?

The train in which my thatha should have travelled had an accident at Ariyalur. This was one of the major train accident in Indian rail history. My grand parents had a great escape. He owed his life to Ramana.This incident was published in 'The Mountain Path' - a journal brought by Ramana ashram.

To feel the presence of Ramana , my Thatha had a photo of Ramana in all the rooms, even in the balcony facing the main road( Kutcheri road in mylapore connects Luz to Santhome beach and is one of the arterial roads). Passers by used to stop to find about Ramana. My thatha met Ramana the day prior to his mukthi day and told him that he needed his guidance to lead his life.

My paternal great grand father DS of police EV Krishnaswamy iyer also had an association with Ramana.

He was the DSP at ashram police station when the thieves attacked Ramana in the ashram. My great grandfather went to Ramana for a report and Ramana told him to excuse the thieves. This was narrated to me by Mr. T.Venkatraman (Ramana’s brother's son and President of Ramanaashram till recently. He died a couple of years back.) during my visit to the ashram in 1997.

Blessed is our family which has such a grand association with Ramana. In fact T. Venkatraman’s daughter Lakshmi(grand niece of Ramana) is married to my Thatha’s Nephew.

Ramana’s ashram at Tiruvannamalai is not just visited by Indian devotees but also from foreign countries. His devotees have set up Ramana kendras in USA, European and Australian countries other than Asia.

Today is Ramana Jayanthi. May he guide us always