Vidur’s Travel Diary – 15 : Karaikal


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 28 , 2012           11.55 P.M.

Union Territory Puducherry is unique among all the states and Union Territories of India . It has 4 districts or regions but they are not contiguous at all . Puducherry , Karaikal , Yanam and Mahe are 4 districts of this Union Territory and they fall in 3 different states . Puducherry and Karaikal are in Tamil Nadu , Yanam is in Andhra Pradesh and Mahe is in Kerala . Though Puducherry and Karaikal , both are in Tamil Nadu but even they are not contiguous .

Map of India showing Puducherry, Karaikal, Mah...

Map of India showing Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During my last visit to Tamil Nadu , I stopped at Puducherry , while returning from Vaitheeswaran Koil and visited many places . I have already written a blog about my Puducherry visit . That time I did visit Karaikal but could not write my travel diary about Karaikal because it was raining heavily and therefore apart from Shani Temple , I could not visit other places .

During my recent visit I visited only Beach Road in Puducherry and spent more time in Karaikal .

 

English: It is very old map of Karikal (Karaik...

Old map of Karikal (Karaikal) when it was a French colony. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I took night flight to Chennai on December 21 , 2012 and reached there late in the night . Next day , on December 22 , 2012 , I proceeded for Vaitheeswaran Koil and after briefly stopping in Puducherry , reached there in the evening . From Vaitheeswaran Koil , I proceeded for Karaikal on December 25 , 2012 .

When you visit Karaikal please don’t forget to eat Karaikal Halwa . It is too yummy to skip . You are not supposed to not have it during your Karaikal visit , even if you are visiting Karaikal for a short period . ” Natesan Halwa ” is the most famous shop and it is 55 years old . It was stablished in 1957 and since then it is in business of making Halwa . There are other shops also on the same road . If you wish to explore , you could visit them .

A Road in Karaikal

A Road in Karaikal

Old Tiled Houses - Karaikal

Old Tiled Houses – Karaikal

Beach Road - Karaikal

Beach Road – Karaikal

Beach Road - Karaikal

Beach Road – Karaikal

At Beach Road - Karaikal

At Beach Road – Karaikal

At Tsunami Victim Memorial - Karaikal

At Tsunami Victim Memorial – Karaikal

With My Wife At Tsunami Victim Memorial - Karaikal

With My Wife At Tsunami Victim Memorial – Karaikal

Sangam of Arasalar River & Sea

Sangam of Arasalar River & Sea

The Promenade Near Beach

The Promenade Near Beach

Government Buildings Near Promenade

Government Buildings Near Promenade

With My Wife & Son At Saneeswar Bhagwan Temple - Thirunallar , Karaikal

With My Wife & Son At Saneeswar Bhagwan Temple – Thirunallar , Karaikal

A French enclave from 1673 till 1954 , it became part of India by a treaty of cession signed by the Indian and French governments in 1956 . It finally became Union Territory in 1963 . During French rule it was called Territoire de Pondichery . It was renamed Puducherry in 2006 .

Karaikal is 300 km. south of Chennai and 135 km. from Puducherry . From Puducherry or from Chennai , you can reach there by taxi . It is surrounded by Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu .

After visiting Saneeswara Bhagawan temple in Thirunallar , Karaikal , I returned to Vaitheeswaran Koil in the night . I don’t know whether I would be able to visit Karaikal again or not . May be yes , may be no .

I remembered these famous lines of Agyeya , which I always remember , whenever I return from a new place .

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]

Visit to Karaikal gives me ample opportunity to tell some good tales to the students of my acting institute,  Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.youtube.com/ividur

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

Tamil Nadu : 25 Years Without M. G. R.


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 28 , 2012           05.35 P.M.

Marudhur Gopala Ramachandran or M. G. Ramachandran or simply M. G. R. needs no introduction in Tamil Nadu . Though he died 25 years ago , still his popularity refuses to wane . I always knew about his phenomenal sway over the masses in Tamil Nadu but I personally experienced it during my recent visit to the state .

English: MGR with Kerala politician K.Karunaka...

MGR (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One morning when I came out of my room in Subam Lodge , Vaitheeswaran Koil , I noticed that arched are being erected on the streets and photos of M. G. R. are being garlanded everywhere . Old hit songs of the films of M. G. R. were being played . People in large number were queuing in front of his photos and paying respect .

On 25th Death Anniversary , MGR Being Rememberedin a Village of Thanjavur

On 25th Death Anniversary , MGR Being Remembered in a Village of Thanjavur

I was astonished . I was astounded by the fact that it is his 25th death anniversary and still people are remembering him . To know the height of his popularity , please go through the description of his death scene , which I am quoting from Wikipedia :

” M.G.R. died on December 24, 1987 after his prolonged illness. He was 70. His death sparked off a frenzy of looting and rioting all over the state of Tamil Nadu. Shops, movie theatres, buses and other public and private property became the target of violence let loose all over the state. The police had to resort issuing shoot-at-sight orders. Tamilians from Bangalore rushed to Madras in trains to see the mortal remains of MGR. Govt had announced free train facility for this visit. The violence during the funeral alone left 29 people dead and 47 police personnel badly wounded. This state of affairs continued for almost a month all over the state of Tamil Nadu. Around one million people followed his remains, around 30 followers committed suicide and people had their heads tonsured.

After his death, his political party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, split between his wife Janaki Ramachandran and J. Jayalalithaa; they later merged in 1988.

In 1989 Dr. M. G. R. Home and Higher Secondary School for the Speech and Hearing Impaired was established in the erstwhile Residence MGR Gardens, Ramapuram, in accordance with his will dated January 17, 1986. His official residence at 27, Arcot Street, T.Nagar is now MGR Memorial House and is open for public viewing. His film studio, Sathya Studios has been converted into a women’s college. “

English: New emblem for All India Anna Dravida...

New emblem for All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Party, designed by B. Balamanigandan email:bbm@drmgr.org (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now non – Tamil people can understand his impact and popularity among the masses . It was well – crafted image with the help of his films . He was the first major film star of India , who became Chief Minister of any state and won 3 consecutive elections in 1977 , 1980 and 1984 . He became Chief Minister in 1977 and remained in office till his death in 1987 . In 1984 assembly elections , though he was in the hospital for treatment and could not participate in electioneering , still he led his party to unprecedented victory . His images , from his hospital bed in the U.S.A. , were broadcast through cinema halls . And his party A.I.A.D.M.K. got 56% of assembly seats .

How he created this larger – than – life political image ? You can watch the song  “…….. neenga nalla irukkanum ……… ” of his film ” Idhayakkani ” [ 1975 ] . In the  ……neenga nalla irukkanum ……… song , he pays homage to his mentor Annadurai , whose image is clearly visible on the screen . His party flag is also fluttering in air and you could see that in the song itself his screen character is doing his philanthropic work . ” Idhayakkani “ was released 2 years before he became the Chief Minister . His last released film was ” Madurai Meeta Sundara Pandian ” [ 1978 ] .  This was his 136th film .  It was released 1 year after he became the Chief Minister . So through his 136 films , he created this kind of image , which is unheard of anywhere in the world . After becoming CM , the ongoing project ” Anna En Theivam “ was stopped and later on it was released by Bhagyaraj with modified story in which Bhagyaraj was the hero.

Apart from M.G.R. , no one in India or in world could replicate this kind of success . He was the first and till date only actor turned politician , who got this kind of mass popularity and could generate mass hysteria of this magnitude . N.T.R. or Nandamoori Tarak Ramarao was also an actor in Telugu film industry and he did succeed in Andhra Pradesh but his success was short – lived as he was soon toppled by his own son – in – law . President of U.S.A. , Ronald Reagan was also an actor in Hollywood but he was not a major star.

On my previous visit to Chennai in 2011 , I visited memorial of M.G.R. at Marina Beach to show my respect . In December 2012 , when I visited Chennai again , I was again able to pay respect to him on his 25th death anniversary .

At MGR Memorial , Marina Beach , Chennai

At MGR Memorial , Marina Beach , Chennai

With Poster of MGR in a Small Town

With Poster of MGR in a Small Town

It is sad that he died when he was only 70 . And 70 is not the age to leave the world . Had he been alive he would have been a formidable Prime Minister of India . In these days of coalition politics it would have been a real possibility .

Alas ! We lost him too early and too soon .

I think it would be fascinating to tell his story to all the students of my acting academy , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters . Who knows ? They might replicate M.G.R. story in their lives also .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.youtube.com/ividur

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

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