ABBAKKA RANI : THE UNSUNG WARRIOR QUEEN
"Abbakka rode the horse stately and worked deep into the night dispensing justice. She is the last known person to have Agnivana (fire arrow)."
Rani Abbakka, though a Queen of a little known small princely state, Ullal, near Mangalore, in present day Karnataka, was a magnetic woman of indomitable courage and patriotism. While Rani Jhansi has become a symbol of courage, Abbakka, nearly 300 years her predecessor, has been largely forgotten by history. Her furious wars with Portuguese are not well recorded. But whatever is available speaks of a luminous personality of awesome valour and bravery.
Sources, such as archival records, travelogues of several Portuguese travelers and historical analysis confirm that there were three Abbakkas: mother and two daughters, who fought against the Portuguese Army between 1530 and 1599.
Rani Abbakka Statue, Ullal, Karnataka
Though it is the second daughter who was the most courageous, the folklore treats all three Abbakkas as one great Queen and a brilliant personality Abbakka Mahadevi or Rani Abbakka. In this article also she is being treated as a single character - Abbakka Rani.
Ullal fort, the capital of Abbakka's kingdom, is located just a few kilometers away from the city of Mangalore, on the shores of the Arabian Sea. It is a historical as well as a pilgrim spot because of the beautiful Shiva Temple built by the Queen and a unique natural rock, called the Rudra Rock. The rock appears to change colours every second, as the sweater splashes on it.
According to local legends. Abbakka was an extraordinary child and as she grew up showed
signs of being a visionary. there was no equal to her in military science and warfare, mainly in archery and sword fighting. Her father encouraged her in this and after she was well versed in all areas, she was married to a neighbouring local king of Bangher. The marriage did no last long with Abbakka breaking the ties by returning the jewels given by his to her. The husband thus nurtured revenge against Abbakka and later on joined the Portuguese in a treaty, to fight Abbakka.
The Portuguese had made several attempts to capture Ullal, strategically placed. But Abbakka had repulsed each of their attack with sheer courage and ingenuity. The queen's story is retold from generation to generation through folk songs and yakshagana, the popular folk theatre, In bootaradhana, (which literally means appeasing the possessed, a local ritual dance) the personal in trance narrates the great deeds of Abbakka Mahadevi. Abbakka, dark and good looking, always dressed in simple clothes like a common village woman. She rode the horse stately and worked deep into the night dispensing justice.
According to the folklore, Abbakka is the last known person to have the Agnivana (fire-arrow) in her fight against the Portuguese. Though Abbakka was a Jain by faith her administration was well represented by Hindus and Muslims. Her army too consisted of people from all sects and caste including Mogaveeras, a fisher folk community. The first attack by the Portuguese in south Kanara coast was in 1525, when they destroyed the Mangalore port. Rani Abbakka was alerted by the incident and started preparing herself to protect her kingdom. In 1555, the Portuguese sent Admiral Don Alvaro da Silvereira against the Queen of Ullal Abbakka Devi Chowta who had refused to pay them the tribute. She fought with courage and intelligence and pushed them back.
In 1558 the Portuguese Army perpetrated another wanton cruelty on Mangalore, putting to death a number of men and women, both young and old, plundering a temple, burning ships and finally setting the city itself on fire.
Again, in 1567, the Portuguese army attacked Ullal, showering death and destruction. The great Queen Abbakka Devi Chowta (Bucadevi I) resisted it.
The same year one general Joao Peixoto was sent by the Portuguese Viceroy Antony Norohna with a fleet of soldiers. He captured the city of Ullal and also entered the royal court. However the Queen escaped and took asylum in a mosque. The same night, she counter-attacked the Portuguese army, with a help of 200 of her soldiers and killed General Peixoto and 70 Portuguese soldiers.
The invaders were forced to flee to their ships in disgrace. The Portuguese soldiers who remained in Ullal were dead drunk, in over confidence and were dancing. Taking advantage of this opportunity, about 500 Muslim supporters of Abbakka Rani attacked the Portuguese and killed Admiral Mascarenhas along with the help six thousand Muslim soldiers in 1568, and the foreign army had to leave the Mangalore fort.
In 1569, the Portuguese Army not only regained the Mangalore Fort but also captured Kundapur (Basrur). Abbakka Rani was a source of threat to the Portuguese. They won the confidence of Abbakka's estranged husband, kind of Bangher and started attacking Ulla. Abbakka Rani fought vigorously.
She formed an alliance in 1570 with Bijapur Sultan Ahmed Nagar and the Zanmorine of Calicut, who where also opposing the Portuguese. Kutty Pokar Markar, a general of the Zamorine fought on behalf of Abbakka and destroyed the Portuguese fort at Mangalore but while returning he was killed by the Portuguese.
Abbakka lost the war as her husband assisted the Portuguese by revealing to them her strategies of warfare, which he was familiar with. She was arrested and jailed. However, the warrior that she was, she was, she revolted in the prison and died as a soldier - fighting.
Though Abbakka has been admired and worshipped in the local folk forms, it is very recently there there have been efforts to honour her memory.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Hinjewadi IT Park
An Avalanche in waiting
It is 9 am, Monday morning and we are yet again stuck in traffic jam on the ‘usual’ road to our company. If the Monday blues are not enough to fight it out, we have regular traffic jams at Hinjewadi. It is getting worse everyday. Right from the time, we enter the Mumbai-Pune highway leading to the expressway.
The whole stretch leading to Hinjewadi is anything but safe. The road has uncalled U-turns, both government made and man-made, at junctions where cars are zooming at high-speed. There is at least one accident or mishap everyday involving the local village people and IT executives on this dangerous road. Not to mention the ‘white death’ (read cab drivers) flooding the road with unwarranted speeds and breaking traffic laws at will. The irony of all this is, you would hardly see a traffic police officer to help matters.
The trouble starts from the Sadanand Resort Chowk, where cars, bikes, transport carriers, company buses hoard from all the sides. The traffic department has not bothered to install a traffic signal, may be they are waiting for the Commonwealth Games to come to Hinjewadi. But that would be a bit too late for the locals and the IT guys working in Hinjewadi who can take no more of this chowk. If at all you happen to escape that horrid chowk, you get trapped at the Octroi Post where at least 20-30 trucks occupy the road which goes inside the Hinjewadi IT Park. The thin lane road which takes you to Hinjewadi IT Park reminds you of other small crapped roads of Sadashiv peth or other peths of Pune. For starters, sadly it is the only way to the IT Park. With the second phase of the IT Park booming and companies making Hinjewadi their adobe, this small road can not at all equipped to handle huge traffic. The petrol pumps, encroachments, lack of traffic officers and no planning makes matters worse by the day. Even inside the IT Park, there are no speed limits or appropriate speed-breakers to control the speeds of the cab drivers or company buses. Oh yes, I see police officers doing their favorite thing, picking up two-wheelers from illegal parking zones in the IT Park and minting money from the already bugged junta. They come only for that, otherwise it is hard to spot a single police officer.
I am also increasingly getting a feeling that big chaos awaits at the Hinjewadi IT Park, God forbid, if some calamity, terrorist attack or any other unfortunate incident falls upon us. The simple reason being, the roads are too small for the first and second phase to escape from the IT Park at a single time and there are only two suitable roads to run away. Working in the IT Park is more or less like a mousetrap. The recent fire in a warehouse near a software company highlighted another problem, the lack of Fire Brigade in the IT Park. Still there are no measurements taken to provide one.
I have not even started to underline the mental and physical stress for It guys due to traffic jams, the precious time wasted everyday, that costs huge money to the company. The talent we lose to death on the highway, loss of property and so on. Everyday IT companies from the IT Park are losing money due to traffic jams in Hinjewadi and Wakad as employees are not able to login on time. The case being that of lots of call centers and technical supports engineers, besides others, who have to attend important meetings or discussions. Request you all to pass on this message to one and all IT Guys who work in Hinjewadi. Something has to be done to avoid an avalanche of sorts, before it is too late.
Posted by Vijayendra Darode at 1:41 AM
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
' Mungaru Male ', which opened at E-Square from Monday (11th June, 2007) is an excellent Kannada Movie, which has been breaking all past records in the 73 year old, Kannada film industry, since it released in the last week of December, 2006.
Mungaru Male in Kannada means 'Pre-Monsoon Rain'. It is only sheer co-incidence that this movie has opened during the pre-monsoon period in Pune.
The movie stars, Ganesh and Sanjana Gandhi in the lead roles, supported by Anant Nag, Sudha Belawadi, Jai Jagadeesh and
Padmaja Rao in the supporting roles.
The film has been shot in Karnataka's visually stunning Malnad region., during the rainy season. The film has breathtaking shots of Jog falls, the highest waterfall in India. Cinematography by Krishna, is one of the high points of the film. Music by Manomurthy, the California based, CEO turned music director, who shot to fame with his very first film, 'America America', has become popular all over Karnataka.
Ganesh, the hero of the film, who is a household name throughout Karnataka, through his popular TV Show 'Comedy Time', had earlier found moderate success in his first movie 'Chellata'.
The film's story line revolves around, Preetham, a city bred, happy go lucky, son of a rich father(Jai Jagadeesh), who falls for Nandini, the daughter of his Mother's(Sudha Belwadi) close friend(Padmaja Rao), when he accompanies his mother to a wedding.
The film has made a fortune at the boxoffice garnering 40 Crores till date. It is the3 only film which is running to packed house, 4 shows daily in PVR Multiplex, Bangalore.
Its also the first Kannada film, which has been screened worldwide, at places like Washington, London, San Jose, Melbourne, Stuttgart, Atlanta.
The songs, onde onde saari, mungaru maleye, kunidu kunidu baare, suvvi suvvaali, anisuthide yaako, araluthiru, ivanu geleyanalla sung by Kunal Ganjawala, Priya Hemesh, Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Stephen, Shreya Goshala, Hemanth Kumar, have been on the top of the charts for a long time now.
Fantastic, Cinematagraphy, lilting tunes and fantastic performances makes , Mungaru Male a must watch movie.
The response to the movie from the Kannada community in Pune has been unprecedented. It is the only movie running to packed house at E-Square in the 8.50 PM slot. Heartening, thing is that families of Kannadigas, young, old and kids alike have been enjoying the movie.
Non-Kannada speakers are also enjoying the movie, which is a shot in the arm for the movie and goes to prove the point that art has no barriers.
Playing at: E-Square, University Road, Pune.
Time: 8.50 PM
Posted by Rohit Ramachandraiah at 11:29 PM
Friday, June 08, 2007
This new technology from Microsoft, which is essentially a computer table, if popular, will bring about a fundamental change in the way we interact with computers. Fanboy bias aside…this is really, really cool.
You can check out some videos explaining how Microsoft Surface works, by clicking here.
Posted by Mukund at 3:53 PM
What would happen if Google turns it site into completely black? We will save approximately 750 Megawatts-hours an year!
According to a recent blogpost by Mark Ontkush, black google will save 750 Megawatts-hours an year taking into consideration the popularity of the same.
Subsequently, someone went ahead and custom made a google serach engine on a completely black page. Evidently, the page is called as Blackle. Now there is a new angle to usability engineers while designing a web page and that is energy preservation.
Kudos to those people who came up with the concept. I have already started preserving energy. Have you?
Posted by Adwait at 9:54 AM
Saturday, June 02, 2007
first rain of season is touching heart of people.it is very nice to experience the rain immediately after summer.childrens singing song of rain .seniors reminding the song of young time.it is time to happy for everyone.age is not hindrence to experience it.let live routine life aside and join the dancing cadre ,welcome RAIN
Posted by mundenitin at 1:07 AM