19 April 2013

Shree Raama Navami to Kondapalle toys

Hindus all over the world celebrate today as Shree Raama Navami. It was on this day that the Almighty Shree Vishnu and his consort Shree Mahaa Lakshmi incarnated as Shree Raamaa and Seetha Devi, during Threthaa Yuga. On this day, special poojas (such as this one) are performed in all Vaishnavite temples.

Today I nostalgically remember my Saturday evening visits to a Shree Raamaa temple managed by Mr Seshaachaaryulu and his extended family in a village near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. Seshaachaaryulu was teaching Telugu and Sanskrit in a school where I worked a few years back. His Sanskrit classes were not only literary and musical but also highly spiritual and sounded somewhat like temples. He was highly knowledgeable, disciplined and simple. He is one of the very few people who have a special place in my heart.

I also remember my visit to Kondapalle, a village nearby, along with Seshaachaaryulu. Toys made by  craftspeople in this village are 100% eco-friendly and very popular. Tourism Corporation of the State Government of Andhra Pradesh, Corporate Agencies and several NGOs provide options to buy these toys online. Though online buying is seemingly consumer friendly, it doesn't benefit the artisans much (Somewhat like how parents are not benefited when buying textbooks sold on retail by many of our K-12 schools). The best way to help these artisans is to visit Kondapalle and buy from them directly. (This village is nearly an hour's drive from Vijayawada, a large city in Andhra Pradesh. Vijayawada can be reached by road or rail from anywhere in India. Besides, there are regular flights from several cities and towns in India as well as from abroad to Hyderabad and Vishakapatnam from where visitors can travel to Vijayawada).

Let me leave you with a Kondapalle toy. It shows Shree Raama, Shree Seetha Devi, Shree Lakshmanaa (younger brother of Shree Raama) and Hanumaan (the greatest devotee of Lord Shree Raama and Shree Seetha Devi).


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About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
I am a retired K-12 Education Management Professional. I have worked at different levels in K-12 school systems, textbook publishing, elearning and Education NGOs. I have held memberships in The Association for Science Education (UK), American Association of Physics Teachers and The Malaysian Institute of Physics. I hold a 1st class B Sc Degree in Physics followed by B Ed [English and Physical Science] and M A [Childcare and Education] degrees. My published works include 59 articles in teacher development magazines in India and the US and a book entitled `Creative Classrooms and Child Friendly Schools' (listed in Amazon). This book is almost an anecdotal account of my professional experience in six countries (including Cambodia where I worked as Technical Adviser to the Ministry of Education, Youth And Sports). I served as mentor in the Certificate of Teaching Mastery Program offered by Teachers Without Borders.