Saturday, 17 January 2015

Why Sunil Shetty speaks Tulu?





Tulu - the language of the Tuluvas

In a way, Tulu-speaking people are a distinct culture and indeed different from the Kannadigas of Karnataka. During British rule, this region was under Madras Presidency and later during the re-orgnisation of states this region was included in Karnataka state. The new generation of Tulu-speaking population, have been demanding official language status for Tulu and a separate state for Tuluvas…….


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Tulu is an ancient language spoken mainly in South Kanara, in Mangalore, Udupi upto Kundapur and a small part of north Kerala. The language is spoken by over 2.5 million Mangaloreans, the colloquial term generally used for Tulu-speakers. It is presumed Tulu belongs to the Dravidian family of languages but it is very different from say Tamil and Kannada. However Tulu is considered to be one of the most highly developed languages of the Dravidian family. And the language has a lot of written literature and oral literature.

Tulu is primarily spoken in South Kanara or Dakshina Karnataka, also known as Tulu Nadu, a region comprising Mangalore, the districts of South Kanara and Udupi on the west coast of Karnataka, and Kasaragod taluk of north Kerala. 


Mangaladevi temple in Mangalore
Apart from these areas, Tulu is also spoken in Maharastra, Mumbai, Bangalore and other parts of India where Tulu-speaking people have settled for long. It is also spoken in USA and Gulf countries where significant number of Tulu-speaking people, have settled.  Non-native speakers such as the Konkani-speaking Mangalorean Catholics and Gowd Saraswath Brahmins, Karhade Brahmins and Daivajnas, as well as Beary Mangaloreans are also well-versed in the language. Apart from Kannada script; historically Tulu Brahmins used Tigalari script mainly used to write Sanskrit.




Milagres Church in Mangalore
Tulu is thought to be the ‘language of the waters’ as the traditional homeland of the Tulu-speaking people is the coastal region in present Karnataka and northern Kerala. Linguists have suggested that the word ‘Tulu’ means that which is connected with water, based on the words from Tulu, Kannada, Tamil and Malyalam. ‘Tulave’ (Jackfruit) means watery in Tulu; and the other words related to water in Tulu include ‘talipu’, ‘teli’, etc. In Tamil, ‘tuli’ means a drop of water and ‘tulli’ means the same in Malyalam. The oldest available inscriptions in Tulu are from the period between 14th and 15th century AD. These inscriptions are in the Tigalari script, are found in areas in and around Barkur, which was the capital of Tulu Nadu during the Vijaynagar period. Another group of inscriptions are found in the Ullur Subrahmanya temple near Kundapura.


Mangalore Airport
Many linguists have suggested that Tulu is among the oldest languages in the Dravidian family which branched independently nearly 2000 years ago. This dating is based on the fact that the region where Tulu was spoken was known to the ancient Tamils as Tulu Nadu. The Tamil poet Mamular describes Tulu Nadu and its dancing beauties in one of his poems. In Halmidi inscriptions, one also finds mention of the Tulu country as the kingdom of Alupas. Surprisingly, the region was also known to the Greeks of the second century as ‘Tolokoyra’. Here one needs to mention of the ‘Charition mime’, a Greek play belonging to second century BC. The play’s plot is located around the coastal Karnataka, where Tulu is predominantly spoken. The play is mostly in Greek, but the Indian characters in the play are seen speaking a language different from Greek.


Mangalore cty  Corporation bldg
Interestingly, according to Malyalam works like ‘Keralolpathi and ‘Sangam’ literature in Tamil, the region stretching from the Chandragiri river, now part of Kasaragod district of Kerala to Gokarna, now part of Uttara Karnataka, was ruled by the Alupas and was known as ‘Alva Kheda.’ This kingdom was the homeland of the Tulu-speaking people. Today, Tulu is widely spoken in Dakshina Karnataka, Mangalore, Udupi district and Kasaragod in Kerala. The cities of Mangalore, Udupi and Kasaragod are the cultural centres of Tulu culture and tradition. Efforts are on to include Tulu in the list of Official languages of India. Many online sites from Mangalore and Udupi post requests inviting Tuluvas to like and support this cause.


Infosys in Mangalore
The earliest available Tulu literature that survives to this day is the Tulu Translation of the great Sanskrit epic of Mahabharata called ‘Tulu Mahabharato’. It was written by Arunabja, a poet who lived in Kodavur, near Udupi around the late 14th and 15th century AD. Other important literary works in Tulu are: Sri Bhagavata, Kaveri and Devi Mahatmyam’s Tulu translation.

It is believed that till 20th century, Tigalari script was used by Tulu Brahmins, apart from Kannada script. Even today, the official script of the eight Tulu monasteries (Ashta Mutthas in Udupi) founded by Madhvaacharya is Tigalari. Tigalari or Tulu is a southern Brahmic script which was used to write Tulu, Kannada and Sanskrit languages. It evolved from the Grantha script. It bears high similarity and relationship to its sister script Malayalam, which also evolved from the Grantha.


Shri Krishna temple, Udupi
The chief priests of the monasteries write their names using this script when they are appointed. To give further impetus to the language, Tulu Sahitya Academy was established by the Karnataka state government in 1994 as also the Kerala Tulu Academy in Manjeshwaram by the Kerala state government in 2007, to promote Tulu literature.

In a way, Tulu-speaking people are a distinct culture and indeed different from the Kannadigas of Karnataka. During British rule, this region was under Madras Presidency and later during the re-orgnisation of states this region was included in Karnataka state. 



Malpe beach
The new generation of Tulu-speaking population, have been demanding official language status for Tulu and a separate state for Tuluvas. Though the statehood demand has been subdued, this demand is getting stronger in recent years in the region. Several organizations have taken up the cause of the Tuluvas to voice their demand. But it is not clear how intense is their demand for a state but they are very keen that the central government include Tulu in the list of Official languages of India.

Tuluvas are a hard-working and enterprising people. Their contribution can be seen in various fields. In Mumbai, majority of the Udupi hotels and even many bars and restaurants are owned by them. You might be surprised to know that amongst the many major banks in India, most of them have originated from Mangalore and South Kanara – Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, Vijaya Bank, Karnataka Bank and Corporation Bank. Tuluvas have also made a rich contribution to business, sports, academics, medical, etc. Some of the prominent Mangaloreans are – Aishwarya Rai, Pooja Hegde, Sneha Ullal, Rohit Shetty, Sandeep Chowta, Shilpa Shetty, Sunil Shetty and Guru Dutt, to name a few in the glamour and Bollywood. Budi Kunderan, Ravi Shastri and recent debutant cricketer KL Rahul hail from this region. Entrepreneur BR Shetty, Restaurateur SB Shetty and many others who have made a name for themselves in India and abroad. Among the politicians, the familiar names are – George Fernandes, Janardhan Poojary, Sadanand Gowda, TA Pai, Margaret Alva, Oscar Fernandes, Veeraappa Moily and others. BV Karanth, the writer, Devi Prasad Shetty, a surgeon, KS Hegde, an associate of Anna Hazare are some of the Mangaloreans who have made a name and excelled in different fields. Besides there many well educated managers and other professionals occupying top positions in the corporate world in India and around the world.

But the native Tuluvas feel they and their region is neglected or not given its due by the elected state governments. However, presently there is a strong demand that Tulu be included in the Official language list so that the language spoken by over 2.5 million Tuluvas gets its due and is recognized; and gets its due importance amongst the Official languages spoken in different regions of India.



Ayurved clinic - Turmeric-capsules--Immuno-defense





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Oil for all seasons:

Today there are many branded and attractively packaged oils, but coconut oil has been used in India, especially coastal areas for ages. It is a multi purpose oil, used in cooking, hair care, skin care, massaging and even medication too.


It suits all hair and it nourishes the hair, boosting hair growth, helps to rid of dandruff, dry scalp and providing nutrition and giving a shiny sheen to hair.

It is also good for skin care, especially people with dry skin. It tends to keep the skin smooth, soft, supple and glowing.

It's excellent for body massage. People apply it normally or sometimes warm it a bit. Either way it works for your body, hair and skin. A weekly application is ideal.


And the best thing about coconut oil is, its natural. In the coastal states its still widely used. Forget the branded oils, cream and gel, try coconut oil and feel the difference. And it's back in fashion too not only in India but abroad too.

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Picture Post:
Chittorgarh fort in Mewar, 
Rajasthan in India
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Bharata, My Brother
by Anil Kumar Naik

- Foreword by Shri Asaranna Swami,
Durga Parmeshwari temple, Kateel, Karnataka.

Price: Rs 200 + P&F Rs 50 (India)





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Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Story of Jivba Dada Kerkar





During one of my few visits to the Kerkar house, I noticed a picture, more of a sketch of a lean man sitting on a horse. And this got me interested to know more about him and the mansion-like structure made of ‘chira’ or red stone found in the west coast of India. And on probing further, it turned out to be an interesting story of a man, a warrior of courage and foresight. On seeing and examining the weapons, old swords and daggers supposedly used by him, in his campaigns made me delve further. It had a long history……..


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Very few people and Goans of this generation must have read or heard about Jivba Dada Kerkar and his tale of valour which is inspiring. I have visited Keri in northern Goa quite a few times and visited the Kerkar family, a relative (from my wife’s side)during my trips. I often wondered who must have built this big mansion-like house, a majestic structure made of ‘Chira’ or red stone, with old architecture, with a pathway and arched pillars for entry. It is in a remote corner of Keri next to the Ravalnath temple. During one of my visits to Goa and the Kerkar house, I noticed a picture of a lean man on a horse. And this got me interested to know more about him and the old structure his relatives reside. And on probing further, it turned out to be an interesting story of a man with courage and foresight. On seeing and examining the weapons, old swords and daggers supposedly used by him, in his campaigns made me delve further. It had a story to tell of the  brave man who ventured out, to be part of the Maratha history.
Jivba Dada Kerkar or Jivjirao Kerkar, also popularly known as Bakshi Bahadur Jiva Kerkar was born in Pawanwada, Keri, near Pedne in Goa. He was supposed to have been born in 1740 and died in 1st June 1796 after an inspiring life. He was a 'senapati' or troop leader in the army of Peshwa rulers. It is learnt he was very fond of body building, physical fitness activities and wrestling. Goans claim he was a fascinating figure, not only in Goa but in Maratha history. 
They add this eminent son of Goa has been immortalized in Maratha war history. It is said he was a brave warrior and the troop leader in the Maratha army in the Peshwa era. He was a courageous leader and a fearless warrior who excelled in the third battle of Panipat fought between the Marathas and Afghan, Ahmed Shah Abdali on 14th January 1761.
It is said that Jivba Dada Kerkar’s ancestors were originally from Morjim village, near Pedne. His grandfather built a palatial mansion at Keri, Pedne and hence his family came to be known as Kerkars. Their original ancestral surname was Sanzgiri and his grandfather was the Kulkarni of the Morjim village in Pedne taluka. Jivba Dada was appointed to the post of ‘waqnis’ in the Peshwa darbar. At the age of 21, he was elevated to the position of heading a small contingent in the army of the Peshwa ruler. After many successful campaigns for the rulers, he was acknowledged as a leader and fearless warrior. Later he became a close aide of another great Maratha warrior and kingdom founder, Sardar Mahadji Shinde, later known as Scindia, the governor of Gwalior. Jivba Dada became his senapati or troop leader and participated in the battles fought against the Rajputs, Jats, Tipu Sultan and Rambhau Patwardhan.
Having proved his mettle in the battles, the Peshwa ruler, in recognition of Jivba Dada's courageous services to the Maratha empire, presented him with a jewel-studded sword and a diamond ring. Jivba Dada participated in over 121 battles. He passed away on June 6, 1796. With his death, the Marathas lost a fearless warrior and a 'senapati' of great merit. His swords and daggers are in the family home in Keri; I personally photographed the two swords and two daggers, and is posted here along with the text.


Keri though remote, is blessed with beautiful surroundings; with hills on two sides and on one side is the Tiracol river and the sea offering a very scenic sunset from the Keri beach. It is also believed that the Kerkar family were the original inhabitants of the area, others were either brought by the Kerkars to work here or are settlers from other parts of Goa. And nearby stands the Rawalnath temple as a mute spectator of the days gone by.







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Olive oil can do wonders


A study published in the journal Molecular cell, suggests that it is the fat in olive oil which activates a pathway in cells known to increase lifespan and prevent aging-related diseases. According to researchers, merely consuming olive oil is not enough to elicit all the health benefits.

The study also found that following a Mediterrean diet for a year could help keep the mind sharp and reduce fraility in old age.The Mediterrean diet which is commonly referred to as heart-healthy way of eating, has been linked to a number of potential health benefits. Researchers have found that olive oil in their diet may hold the key to improving lifespan and mitigating aging-related diseases, a compound called resveratrol.



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Picture Post:

India Gate at New Delhi, India
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Anil Naik

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Saturday, 3 January 2015

The New India


It all started with Saurav Ganguly, the in-your face captain, who brought aggression to the team in play and body language and ready to give back whenever they are sledged. This was carried forward under Kumble’s captaincy. After which Dhoni took over. Indians do give back, usually subtly, without being too abusive. Indians are not naturally aggressive.


As a youngster in the mid-seventies, I would go to a small but popular Mangalorean restaurant Lalit in Fort area in Mumbai during lunch-break. The food was good and the price reasonable for the many office-goers. And it was frequented by many famous cricketers employed in Tata Electric and other companies fielding good teams in local competitions. Many of whom played for the Mumbai Ranji team and some of them played for the Indian Test team.

The waiters were friendly with these players who visited there almost daily for lunch. And the India-Australia Test series was on and India was mauled by the Australian fast bowlers Mackenzi and Conally, with aggression and fast bowling, and also had top batsmen like Bill Lawry, Ian Redpath, Bob Cowper and others. When the restaurant waiters jokingly asked them why the top Indian and Mumbai players could not negotiate their bowling and timidly got out at low scores? The players responded – They are big and huge guys running in from 25-30 yards and pounding the red ball at you. Seeing them coming in, half our guts and confidence would go for a toss. Their bouncers literally passed the cherry by our nose and we smelt the leather. This led to the downfall. This was the mindset then. It tells you a lot of the Indian psyche.

‘Some of the past Indian cricket teams would‘ve crumbled with some of the stuff that’s been said. But Virat Kohli is one of those modern-day players who’s a little bull-terrier in his own right,’ Vivian Richards, the former West Indian great said. Don’t mess with me, Virat Kohli told Australia.  Michelle Johnson with whom Kohli had a few exchanges in the on-going series, is also impressed by him. These are the new generation of Indian players who are ready to give back what they get instantly.

It all started with Saurav Ganguly, the in-your-face captain, who brought aggression to the team in play and body language and ready to give back whenever they are sledged. This was carried forward under Kumble’s captaincy. After which Dhoni took over. Indians do give back, usually subtly, without being too abusive. Indians are not naturally aggressive.

Some people and a few ex-cricketers are talking about toning down the aggression. These people have got to understand that this game has changed quite a bit. Regardless of how good you are, you’re going to have guys coming at you. You’re going to have stuff being said. And you can’t be a timid spectator and take it lying down. Some thrive with a little aggression and a little banter is good for the game. Kohli doesn’t wait when it comes to trading words. It’s almost like an instinctive reaction. ‘Prick me and you get it back there and then.’

Another amusing statement I often read from experts and former players is, Indian fast bowlers should sacrifice pace for accuracy. These people should realize, being pace bowlers, speed is their main weapon to intimidate and put the opposition batsmen on the back foot with sheer pace and aggression. A pace bowler has to be aggressive with his pace and action or else he will end up being a medium pace bowler who can be hit around if he has no help from the pitch or seam movement, like it has happened to a few of them.

People should realize these days aggression has become a part of the game. Thankfully, cricket is not a contact sport. So let them be and play their natural game. With the new generation of players, playing competitive cricket often in different formats; and with the advent of IPL, playing with the top cricketers from different countries, they have become bold and fearless and no longer hold them in awe as it happened earlier. For them, there is nothing like superior or inferior, they feel they are as good as them. And many of them are waiting to break-in into the national team.

When the Australians sledge, it is said, they are playing mind games to disrupt the concentration or the confidence of the players, but when the Indians respond in kind, it is reported that they are getting aggressive on the field and over-doing it. The players are playing for their country’s pride. Let them play freely and give it back to the opponent, only to stop them if they cross the line or get personal. One should realize cricket is no longer a gentleman’s game. Now, mind games, sledging, new variety in spin and pace bowling come into play to subdue and win. Earlier Indian players; as Indians are not aggressive by nature were timid and coyly faced constant sledging during their tours to England, Australia and West Indies and other countries. Some of them faced language problem too, so could not retort back. But the present lot, have no such problem, no longer tolerate it and give back in kind.

There is a connection between sports and economic prosperity. Countries like China, as it grew to become an economic power, its sports performance too improved vastly and it can also be seen in the international sports and in Asiad and Olympic games. Similarly with the boost of the Indian economy to third spot in the world, Indian sports performance is improving and sports persons are asserting themselves. They are getting aggressive to perform better and this reflects in cricket too.

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Picture Post:

Cathedral Thiruvalla in Kerala, India
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