Archive for July, 2011

What’s HAIR got to do with it?

What’s HAIR got to do with it?

What is it about the female’s hair that makes the male of the human species get so wild and crazy? Going by the Islamic culture that is one of the main reasons why girls are enjoined to cover their head. But its not just a phenomenon of Islamic societies alone. When the debate first erupted after France banned the burka in public places, I realized it was a belief more closer home than I ever realized.

Golden Temple, Amritsar

Golden Temple, Amritsar

However a lesser known and a very interesting fact about The Golden Temple is that it receives more visitors than even The Taj Mahal -making it the most visited Monument in India. Maybe the statistics have changed over the years and if anyone has the latest statistics kindly do share.

Taj Mahal – The Eternal Show

Taj Mahal - The Eternal Show

Apart from the foreigners its mostly the poor and the lower-middle class that turns up in overwhelming numbers to visit our monuments. Sometimes making long arduous journeys crammed up in train’s sleeper class for days.The upper-middle class and the glitterati are conspicuous by their absence at not only The Taj but at any other Indian Monument. Except ofcourse when a fashionable concert like Yanni’s is organised near it. But then now we have The Malls and The Multiplexes- our new monuments of our times.

Hornbill Festival of Nagaland

Hornbill Festival of  Nagaland

Hornbill festival like most cultural festivals is essentially manufactured exotica. It is a big draw for exotica seeking tourists and for lazy journalists like myself who get to see the shoot Naga tribes in their tribal finery all under one roof without getting into the trouble of going into the hinterland where the real tribes actually live.
That of course takes a lot of perseverance, time , sweat and given the condition in Nagaland some degree of personal risk. Unfortunately I had stomach for none

Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple’s money belongs to the people

Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple's money belongs to the people

The wealth that some of our temples have is indeed phenomenal. It is not very surprising that such unaccounted wealth is found in temple vaults. Devotees rich and poor make regular donations to temples hoping to bribe the Gods to have some of their sins forgiven. But the immense wealth of this Kerela temple took everyone by surprise. There is a big debate on whom this money really belongs. I think this money belongs not to the temple but to the people and that’s where it should be used.