Saturday, April 19, 2014

Trimbakeshwar Jyothirlinga - An unexpected visit

My new year started off with an unexpected visit to Trimbakeshwar, near Nashik, Maharashtra on January 3rd, 2014. The one day trip to Nashik was to attend the 1st National & 6th State Level Nashik MVP Marathon 2014 organised by the Maratha Vidya Prasarak Samaj. I was accompanying Cricketer VVS Laxman who flagged off the marathon and distributed trophies and prizes to the winners.

Initially visiting Shirdi was on the itinerary, but due  to some unavoidable circumstances it had to be cancelled. I was disappointed as my visit to seek blessings of Sri Sai Baba is long over due. 

On Jan 3rd early morning, after the Marathon flag off, one of the organisers expressed that in the short time we had, after the flag off and before the prize distribution ceremony, I could squeeze in a quick visit to Trimbakeshwar and have darshan of  one of the twelve Jyothirlingas. 

I was very happy and just couldn't resist the offer. The driver escorting us, Rameshappa was more than enthusiastic and the organiser Mrs. Pooja Atkare, Principal of a leading educational institution at Trimbak, joined me and made necessary arrangements for our darshan. I am really grateful to both of them.

The ride from Nashik to Trimbak was a rough one with the road in a terrible condition, due to a four lanes road construction work going on, keeping in view the ensuing Kumbh Mela in 2015. The distance approximately 28 kms was covered in about 40 minutes. 

We reached the temple located at the foothills of the Brahmagiri mountain ranges, a magnificent grand structure built in black stone. The temple was built by Shri.Nana Saheb Peshwa in 1755-1786 AD. The spectacular view just took my breath away.  An official at the temple escorted us directly to the "sanctum sanctorum" and we had a quick darshan of the the presiding deity Lord Trimbakeshwar. The Lingam is unique with the presence of three lingas, each representing Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. All the three lingas reside in a hallow space withing the Shiva lingam. The priest blessed us by giving prasad. I was overwhelmed having visited this holy shrine and having darshan of Lord Shiva in the beginning of the New Year. I had visited this place as a 10 year old with my parents, but couldn't recall the place. 

Just outside the temple premises is the sacred pond "Kushavarta" from where River Ganga is said to take route to rest of India. I just had a glance from the foothill, of the "Gangadwar" located on the Brahmagiri mountain, the birth place of River Ganga, known as River Godavari. 

I was delighted with this unexpected visit to the holy temple of Trimbakeshwar. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Be Inspired - People I Know - 1

Presto! A thought triggered in my mind, about so many people- friends, family, acquaintances I know, and most of them are doing some extraordinarily good work. And this is my applaud in acknowledgement of the talent, effort, dedication and passion displayed by these terrific human beings.

The first to go on my "Be Inspired" People Series is Abhishek Bhaskar - The Beatboxer

I met Abhishek a month ago in Bengaluru with regard to a CSR event I was conducting for Herbalife India, a direct selling MNC dealing mainly with Nutritional & Health Products. Herbalife has been very supportive of Sports Persons and Sporting activities all over the world. 

We needed an Emcee and my specifications were for an energetic, lively and communicative youngster best suited for the event.   

A day before the event, I met Emcee Abhishek, a polite, well mannered, intelligent 18 year old waiting patiently at the office to be briefed on the next day's proceedings. He was very quick to grasp the requirements and looked confident to deliver his best. Meeting him reduced half of my stress, giving me the confidence that he will manage the show with aplomb. 

We already had some fun and meaningful activities lined up for the Herbalife Founder's Day event, which was celebrated as Herbalife Kids' Day with the Guest of Honour,  Paralympian Silver Medalist  H. Girisha, Herbalife Brand Ambassador. 

Abhishek gave some interesting inputs about some Ice-Breakers and activities that he would add and engage the participants (Herbalife employees, Special kids from Shraddhanjali Integrated School and Kids from Smile Foundation). I was very pleased with his display of enthusiasm.

In the process of our conversation Abhishek told me that he is studying Architecture, and he is a Beatboxing artist and CEO & Founder of a company called "Voice Box Productions".

I carefully listened to him and finally expressed my ignorance on "Beatbox", I found it very amusing and was eager to educate myself on this new form of talent.

Abhishek demonstrated his Beatboxing skills and explained as follows, " Beatboxing is the art of producing the sounds of musical instruments through one's mouth and nostrils. It involves the imitation of Turntablism, Singing, Horns, etc".  

Well, I realised that I did know about this art but was ignorant about the name of this art form- Beatbox.

Abhishek is involved in conducting Beatbox workshops for Corporate and Students. It is indeed a stress buster exercise. He is busy performing this art form, Emceeing, studying to be an Architect; to sum it all multitasking very efficiently. In his own words, he says "I'm living the LIFE".

Abhishek deserves a loud Beatbox cheering - KUDOS!!!