Monthly Archives: November 2013

How do I thank you ?

Our website gets about 150 visits every day. The maximum visits, quite a few months ago,on a single day, was 375.

But imagine the pleasant shock of getting 510 hits! That happened on 25-11-2013 [see the stats below].

I am humbled and grateful to each and everyone of you for the encouragement and motivation.

How do I thank you?

Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash

For WP


‘…aappadhu ella aagindu hogali…’

Have you ever been in such  a hopeless situation when you feel totally helpless and resign to the idea that ‘aappadhu ella aagindu hogali- whatever happens, let it happen’?

Like you are travelling to  Coimbatore to catch a flight, but stuck in a traffic jam near Burliyar or going in the mountain train from Mettupalayam to Ooty but the Engine has oil leak problem and stopped at Hilgrove station??

Or, like in my case, cut off ‘from the [internet] world, because the BSNL telephone connection has gone completely dead for days on end and the Coonoor BSNL can only express their inability [or inefficiency] saying their UG cable has been cut by the contractor while using the JCB for water pipe laying???

And you want to know the latest position and progress about when, if at all, the landline will come out of the death bed. Dial 198. The automatic and interactive complaint booking/status, with so many ‘press 1 for confirmation’, can,  after a frustrating delay, give you the ICE COLD standard reply, ‘the complaint has been already received and the WORK IS UNDER PROGRESS’.

You can’t even scream and let the steam out once you realise that the female on the other end is, well, just a voice from the answering machine.

Well, as I said before, when it becomes inevitable, better to lie low instead of letting the BP go up.

Interesting titbits about Badaga

Badaga Inspiration

[Badaga Inspiration]

I love watching the Badaga dance in Coimabatore. Two years back when Amma last was here, and again during Amma’s 53rd birthday celebrations in Amritapuri, they also enchanted the crowd – inspiring westerners, students, and Ashramites to join in . The same happened again this year. Young and old, men and women. Their rhythmic movements, graceful flowing hands and bodies, the beating of drums and call and response voices calls to the dancer inside us. It’s so primal, so natural, and so beautiful.

One wonders how long these people have been dancing like this – how far back in time? How wonderful that India has been able to preserve these timeless traditions.

For a while, I was content just taking photos, or watching from the sidelines – focusing on their movements. But I found my inner self wanting to join in. I stood there – conflicted – trying to overcome my inhibitions – people would look at me – a westerner in white awkwardly throwing his body around. But then some westerners did join in, the Badaga happy to show them the movements even as they were ‘throwing a wrench’ into the coordinated movements of those already dancing.

Still, I stood by the sidelines. Then, at the end of the first night, as Darshan ended, and the Badaga still playing, Amma Herself stood up to leave the stage – and made a full circle – turning round with the beat, no inhibition, no concerns. Just dancing…..

The next day, I knew the Badaga would be there again. Would I join in?

Around 2am, they were singing and dancing again. Again, I stood by the sidelines, thinking about how Amma was so natural, innocent when She danced. I recalled how Amma says it’s just not enough to stand at the shore of the ocean and just get your feet wet. You have to dive in. I recalled how I overcame my fears when I used to go firewalking (walking on hot coals) – I would stand there trying to convince myself that it would be fine. It just takes a leap of faith…

In a moment of surrender, I joined the line. I found myself behind a Badaga man who was more than happy to call out the movements and changes as we made our way around the circle. I loved it. At times, it was awkward, but once I got the jist of it, it seemed so natural, so beautiful. When we were in synch -hands, legs, arms, – it was so nice – like a huge drum circle when they reach that magical moment when all the drummers are connected and the music just flows. So did our bodies-around and around, faster and faster.

I can’t wait till the next time..

Sri Pati, USA Coimbatore, 23 January 2007

[ to read more titbits about Badagas, click here or here]

Hethe Habba


The next


is on the

23rd December, 2013 [Monday]

Dec 13

HETHAI HABBA’ is the biggest festival of Badagas!

Hethe Habba is always on the first MONDAY (SOVARA), the most sacred day for Badagas, after the full moon (paurnami – HUNNAWAY ) that falls in Badaga Hemmatti month, (Tamil – Margazhi month), that is the 9th day after eight days of ‘Kolu’. This year [2013] the Hethe Habba was celebrated on 8 Jan 2007 will be celebrated on 27 Dec 2010   will be celebrated on 31 Dec 2012 23 Dec 2013.

Hethe Amma, the purest one, in your blessings lie our well being !
Madekke mannoondha aaleyu, adhu thirigi mannoo aagha
[Even though a pot has been made out of clay, it cannot become clay again]
Thuppa benne endha aaleyu, adhu thirigi benne aagha
[Clarified butter (nei in Tamil), though made out of butter, cannot become butter again]
Jenu hoo endha aaleyu, adhu thirigi hoo aagha,
[Honey, that comes from flowers, cannot become flowers again]
Holladha vakka Hethe Mane ga hodha maele, thirigi holladhavakka aagharu
[After going to Hethai Temple, ‘bad’ people cannot remain bad]

Read more about Hethe Habba here

To read the ‘history of HETHE ’ Click here


Photo Quiz

Can you identify this ‘animal’? Plenty available in the Nilgiris

Photo by JP
see here for the answer