Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

I'll be grateful if you...

Feb 29, 2012

WHISPERS: Lost Soul and Love in Haiku

People in our life come and go but sometimes one chooses to remain with someone, forever, even though the farewells have happened. The reason for this deep rooted attachment, may not be in the soil of this life, but probably in all the other lives you have lived… so here I am trying to explore the “Lost Soul” among the debris of lives, lived along with some of my Haiku about love and its expression in verse (To know more about Haiku, Click here…)

Visitors at the Shore Temple Mahabalipuram - Chennai
In the spaces
Between words of despair
Love exposes itself in living

Words fall in place
When love is
Most silent
With white empty pages, I met
On the path of living – Love
Now it’s soaking wet – Blood red

Dark night's shadow looms large - East Coast Road, Chennai

Lost Soul
Among the mortal remains
Of scattered lives -
Embroiled in many life times
I cry
In acrid smoke of burning desires
My selfishness invade
Spoken - unspoken boundaries
Of last farewell

I did let you go
I did not

Now, no longer I am absolved
By love
Dreams keep me burning
And alive
Sleeping cadavers of memories
Worm hole into heart beats
Dancing away
Into depths of living - 
Long lost

Now, just a withered skin I wear,
Over the skeleton of ocean scent
Hanging endlessly in the empty space
Of falling stars, off Orion’s belt
Smells of sea salt
Songs of silence 
From dying pyre
Fall around like dark shadow
Rags of cosmic design
Buries, deep in living, a lost soul

A lonely boat
With sails of tattered death
Softly fades into dark night
नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

Submitted to dVerse Poets Open Link Night WK 33, Please log on to read great talent and lovely poetry as well as add your own. Click here…

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“The Journey”

Feb 20, 2012

WANDERLUST: Maha Shiva Ratri - The night Shiva Married

Today is the most Holy day of Lord Shiva, Maha Shiva Ratri, which according Hindu Scripture's is supposed to be the most favorite day of Lord Shiva. Its also believed that today, Lord Shiva married His consort Parvati. On this lovely and auspicious day, walk with me to some auspicious place across India, associated with Lord Shiva  that has touched me deeply and blessed me with peace and love...

Shiva's tall statue at Haridwar...
From Himalaya, in North, to ....

Kedarnath Peak in Himalaya down south, Lord Shiva is worshiped today in simple rituals of purifying oneself by bath and then bathing Shivalinga four times till night.... 

Rameshwaram Temple
 Fasting and then performing abhishekam, aarti etc... in the evening...

Most beautiful Aarti on the banks of Holy River ganges
 Since morning devotees go over to the near by rivers and lakes to bring out water to bathe Lord Shiva...

Village folks going to the river to bring the water to
Bathe Shiva... This image is from a temple (in the back
ground you can see the temple) in Bihar
Which few of us friends joined to construct...
 Many of the places that I have had visited, I find that the most simple things are most beautiful and full of energy. This one Shiva Linga here gave me a blissful experience....

Vashishth Cave - Rishikesh
 ...below is another powerful temple - at Jageshwar, introduced to me by younger brother, is supposed the the place where Maha Mrityun Japa (A Shiva mantra for Longevity) was created....

Mahamrityunjaya Temple at Jageshwar
 The Kedarnath Temple, is one of the most powerful temple of Lord Shiva... Its here that Adi Shankaracharya, one of the most powerful Guru of Vedic Knowledge, left his body to merge with Shiva... the place is situated at the height of 4000 Mts in Himalaya and 13 KMs of beautiful trek to reach the temple, made me most ecstatic and the Shivalinga there is full of positivity and blessings...

Kedar Nath temple - Himalaya
 This Shiva Linga on the banks of Holy River ganges at Patna - Bihar, faces the most beautiful expanse of serene and elegant river...

Shiva Linga at Patna
This Kubernath temple, near my village in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, has been a place where my spirituality took roots since childhood...

Kuber Nath Temple - Kushinagar
Known as Kashi of south, Kaanchipuram is a famous temple town near Chennai. The mango tree in the background is supposed to be the desecndant of the tree from the Vedic Era. Its said that the tree's four branches gives different type of fruit and hence is associated with the four Vedas...

Kanchipuram Temple
 A beautiful trek in the forest, above the Temple town Jageshwar, is the Brihad Jageshwar Temple... where its said that Yogi's from Himalaya come to perform Tantrik Sadhana's and Meditation... A powerful and lovely place...

Brihad Jageshwar Temple
 Its believed that where the Holy Ganges is, there will be Lord Shiva. In Hindu Scriptures, its said that when Ganga was asked to descend from heaven, Lord Shiva offered to bear her fall, due to the request and prayers of Bhagirathi... The Deva Prayaag is the place, where Alaknanda & Mandakini meet and then move on to the plains of India, known as Holy River Ganges....

Deva Prayaag - The confluence

The Rishikesh, popularly known as Deva Bhoomi (The land of Gods) and some call it, Spiritual Campital of the world, is a place, where I am at my most content self. Each and every thing about the place, gives you energy... if you just take a break from the chaos of mind and live in that present moment... in 'now'

With my friend, in whose cave on the banks of Holy Ganges,
I spent few days and night, in meditation, rituals and Mantra Yoga
Hope that this walk with me, on such an auspicious day, gives you the sense of connection with that cosmic soul and permeates within you the contentment, bliss and happiness... May Lord Shiva bless you with health, wealth and Happiness in years to come.

Leaving you with lamp of light from the new year meditation at Sivananda Ashram Rishikesh..

ॐ नमः शिवाय 
Om Namah Shivaya

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Neel Kanth Mahadev Temple - Rishikesh

BOOK REVIEW: Chicken Soup For Indian Soul

BOOK RIVIEW: Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul: Teens Talk – Growing Up

This lovely book is compilation of ‘inspiring 101 stories about meeting challenges and growing up’ in life, which took me back to the dreams I have had, the aspiration that I aspired for and the childhood I grew up in. This is not a book only for the teens but for many of the older generation, who will benefit by reading these inspiring stories, moments of life as well as raw thoughts that were to be shaped by relentless march of time. While reading these lovely leaves from the tree of growing up, I could touch base with my own roots, the earth and the environment, which made me what I am today. An interesting side effect of reading these lovely stories was to bring out the lost memories, aspiration and goals back into present focus. It inspired me to take out those lost stories, poetry and dreams from the attics of life; dust them up and show them the light of day and begin fresh on the path long last. This book is all about living those dreams and making them possible through experiences of many who have been there and done that…

The compilation by Jack Canfiled, Mark Victor Hansen & Aarti Katoch Pathak is apt with various stories put under 7 aspects of Teenager’s growth. And as Aarti quotes in her introduction to the book,
“If you could live without passion, may be we’d know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow empty rooms, shuttered and dank… without passion we would be truly dead” – Angelus in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Passion is an abiding element in this collection of 101 stories.

As it has quite a number of stories from the famous people who have shared their dreams and desires, which makes it a lot more interesting. Another thing that I liked about the book, is sharing a brief note on the author with their contacts so that any one inspired enough by their story can connect.
A lovely read and highly recommended for all, but especially so, to the teenage kids around.

Now I will leave you with some interesting thoughts from the stories in the book to give you the flavour and entice you into picking this book up one lazy Sunday afternoon and float away into the long lost land of dreams and aspirations….

“… that day, he (My father) gave me a new life and I promised myself that I would make it meaningful” – from  ‘A New Life’ by Khurseed Dinshaw (A Pune based freelance writer with more than 620 published articles)

“The key (to choose) is to look beyond the imperfections because happiness is a journey, not a destination“ – from ‘Bless the Broken Road’ by Kadambari Shah (17 years old FY student of St. Xavier’s College)

“ Many times in life, when things don’t go our way, it is perhaps because God has something better planned for us” – from ‘Sometimes you just got to Wrestle it Out’ by Sushil Kumar (World Champion Wrestler)

“… the soul and the intellect often have growth spurts – they grow in fits” – from ‘Rites Of Passage’ by Gayathri Ponvannan (A network Engineers and Free lance writer)

“While, the good times shared by friends bring them closer, it’s the dealing with adversity together that really transforms that friendship into an everlasting bond” – from ‘A Lesson from the Birds and Bees’ by Nidhi Kaushik (A free lance writer well published writer)

“I now believe that faith probably is the only thing that can preserve the sanity of an individual, and thus the culture, tradition and respect of the nation” – from ‘Resurrection of Faith’ by Tarundeep Singh (IT professional who has co-authored a US Patent and self published two books)

“Success is a combination of destiny and intelligent planning” – from ‘The Centre Stage’ by Amrita Rao (Actress)
This review is a part of the" target="_blank">Book Reviews Program at"> Participate now to get free books!
नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
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Up Close & Personal: Wilbur Smith

Feb 14, 2012

WHISPERS: The Journey....

St. Valentine’s Day for me means as the day of remembering those who have been with you on your journey for some time or forever. Who precipitated the essence of your living, into the seed within, that burst forth in flowering, as time passed by. Making the path of living more vibrant and beautiful for the travellers in your wake... so here I am again with some of my Haiku about the path and then a longer verse about the journey…

A visitor deep in contemplation
The Shore Temple - Mahabalipuram, Chennai

Path is ever present
In the forest of living
All one needs is an intent to walk
Unfurled the path
Where I had to be
I know there are many paths
To our togetherness
I just detest sound of silence

One of the beautiful sunsets at Zuhu Beach - Mumbai

Sunrise And Sunset
There was a formless emptiness
Before the universe burst out
Into being
With the sonorous song of love
The first Sunrise and rainbows of flower star

Yet the day was not far
When the seed flowered
Into the decay of living
As I know
The burden of my happiness
Stars could not hold

Black holes of silence
Began to eat
The intensity of light and my love
Emptiness prevailed
All that’s left of the sunrise
Is just an eternity of path
Not going anywhere

The path is not the sunset
But a sunrise floating eternally
Within the ocean current

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

This is submitted to dVerse Poets Open Link Night WK 31, if you would like to read really some great talented poets as well as add your own, please click here....

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“The Remembrance and Moon Haiku”

Feb 12, 2012

UP, CLOSE & PERSONAL: Lou Andreas-Salomé Birthday (12th Feb) - Love Interest of German Philosopher Nietzsche

UP, CLOSE & PERSONAL: Happy Birthday to Lou Andreas-Salomé (12 February 1861 – 5 January 1937)
Today is the birthday of a very interesting character from 20th Centuary "Lou Andreas- Salomé" 
I rediscovered her while watching the movie "When Nietzsche Wept" few days back recommended by one of my friend. I had read about her while doing a little research on Nietzsche and found her to be a very interesting character in real life too. Her relationship with distinguished western luminaries, like Nietzsche, Wagner, Freud, and Rilke, got me thinking about what actually made her out to be, what kind of person she was... 

Lou Andreas-Salomé
Personally speaking, I thought she lacked a companion / Lover who would leave his foot prints along with her's on the beach…. Who would be besides her in times of her need and then no need. But then one person, in my opinion, who loved her deeply, she decided to throw… Personally, I think if she would have been with Nietzsche, they would have achieved much more together then they individually they did on their own. Because, I believe, love actually brings out the best version of the person one loves….. 

(So please go ahead and love some one to bring out the best this Valentine's day and actualize the potential you can bring about in him or her … :-) Cheers!!!)

A Brief Note…
Lou Andreas-Salomé (born Louise von Salomé or Luíza Gustavovna Salomé, 12 February 1861 – 5 January 1937) was a Russian-born psychoanalyst and author.

When Salomé was 21, at a literary salon in Rome, she became acquainted with Paul Rée, an author and compulsive gambler with whom she proposed living in an academic commune. After two months, the two became partners. On 13 May 1882, Rée's friend Friedrich Nietzsche joined the duo. In Leipzig,Germany in October, 1882, Salomé and Rée separated from Nietzsche after a falling-out between Nietzsche and Salomé, in which Salomé believed that Nietzsche was desperately in love with her.

Left to right, Andreas-Salomé, Rée and
Nietzsche (1882)
Salomé and Rée moved to Berlin and lived together until a few years before her celibate marriage to linguistics scholar Friedrich Carl Andreas. Despite her opposition to marriage and her open relationships with other men, Salomé and Andreas remained married from 1887 until his death in 1930. The distress caused by Salomé's co-habitation with Andreas caused the morose Rée to fade from Salomé's life despite her assurances. Throughout her married life, she engaged in affairs or/and correspondence with the German journalist Georg Lebedour, the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, on whom she wrote an analytical memoir, the psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Viktor Tausk, among others. Accounts of many of these are given in her volume Lebensrückblick.

Her relationship with Rilke was particularly close. Salomé was fifteen years his senior. They met when he was 21, were lovers for several years and correspondents until Rilke's death; it was Salome who began calling him Rainer rather than René.

In her memoirs, which were first published in their original German in 1951, she goes into depth about matters of her faith and her relationships. She says, and I quote..

“Whoever reaches into a rosebush may seize a handful of flowers; but no matter how many one holds, it's only a small portion of the whole. Nevertheless, a handful is enough to experience the nature of the flowers. Only if we refuse to reach into the bush, because we can't possibly seize all the flowers at once, or if we spread out our handful of roses as if it were the whole of the bush itself—only then does it bloom apart from us, unknown to us, and we are left alone.”

Salomé is said to have remarked in her last days, "I have really done nothing but work all my life, work ... why?" And in her last hours, as if talking to herself, she is reported to have said, "If I let my thoughts roam I find no one. The best, after all, is death."

It was believed that Nietzsche was a reclusive solitary man but I feel that among all the famous lovers around her, Andreas-Salomé was the loneliest... And I quote Nietzsche here from his book "Thus Spoke Zarathustra"

"Today you still suffer from the multitude, you individual; today you still have your courage undimmed, and your hopes. But one day will solitude weary you; one day will your pride yield and your courage fail. You will one day cry: "I am alone”! One day will you see no longer your loftiness, and see too closely your lowliness; your sublimity itself will frighten you, like a phantom. You will one day cry: "Everything is false”!"

Here is movie that was recommended to me by a friend to see and I actually love it as it gives a real life back ground to who she was and how in life things like this happen and leave a deep impression that changes you completely. (I am sorry, this is only one part as I could not find on the You Tube the whole movie link), and you actually need to see all the parts to complete the picture.) 
(Thank you my friend)

(Movie Curtsy You Tube)
The movie starts with Lou Andreas-Salomé asking Dr. Breuer to treat Nietzsche to cure of his depression because she has refused to marry Nietzsche when he supposedly proposed to her. Though I have read Nietzsche a lot and liked his thought very much, which is the underlying theme of the movie, as well there is Sigmund Freud thrown along the sidelines, what interested me a lot was the character Lou Andreas-Salomé.

TEXT and Image Curtsy:
WIKIPEDIA Click here to
To read more about Nietzsche and his wonderful thoughts from “Thus Spoke Zarathustra" check my blog post … Click here

ॐ नमः शिवाय

Om Namah Shivaya

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"Damanhur Temples Of Humankind"

Feb 8, 2012

WHISPERS: In Remembrance & Moon Haiku...

Today 7th Feb is the day of remembering those who have been with you on your journey for some time or forever. Who precipitated the essence of your living, into the seed within, that will burst forth in flowering, as time passes by. Making the path of living, more vibrant and beautiful for the travellers in your wake... So here I am with some Haiku about a beautiful moonrise and the longer verse “Where Ever I Will Fall...” 

Moon Rise on ECR - Chennai 7th Feb

The beauty is
Not the moonrise, but the memories
Of my heart; Dying apart
Moon shines
With all my memories
Packed, intact
Moon reflects
The dying Sun
Ocean scent scars

The Shore Temple - Mahabali Puram (7th Feb)

Where Ever I Will Fall…
The withered temple waits
Forever eroding
In the deep silence
Echoing within
In the howls of dark nights
Sea, surf and sands
Search for that one sound
Of smile, lighter than the fall
That an autumn brings

Mingled with the red blood sea shells
I watch broken stars
Softly falling like dew drops
Tear the sands of time
White frothy waves, forever retreating
Taking whatever is
Still left beating in my heart
Where ever I will fall,
I will be the seed

Pilgrims of life
Create fire
And sacrifice
Shashi @ 7th Feb 2012

This is submitted to dVerse Poets Open Link Night WK 30, if you would like to read really some great talented poets as well as add your own, please click here....
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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Withered Dreams and Love songs

Feb 3, 2012

"Why We Love + Cheat" explains Dr. Helen Fisher researching the topic for more than 3 decades

TALKING POINT: 'LOVE – The most powerful brain system' says Dr. Helen Fisher

In this TEDTalk by Dr. Helen Fisher, I find the anatomy of Love discussed thread bare with an interesting result that we are built in such a way that we can love many people at any point of time. It’s a great talk and I would recommend you to watch the video, where in her own beautiful style with Stories, poetry, humour and lot of intelligence and hard research thrown in, she proves and I quote,

“I don't think, honestly, we're an animal that was built to be happy; we are an animal that was built to reproduce”

Helen Fisher's courageous investigations of romantic love -- its evolution, its biochemical foundations and its vital importance to human society -- are informing and transforming the way we understand ourselves. Fisher describes love as a universal human drive (stronger than the sex drive; stronger than thirst or hunger; stronger perhaps than the will to live), and her many areas of inquiry shed light on timeless human mysteries, like why we choose one partner over another.

Anthropologist Helen Fisher studies gender differences and the evolution of human emotions. She's best known as an expert on romantic love, and her beautifully penned books -- including Anatomy of Love and Why We Love -- lay bare the mysteries of our most treasured emotion.

Some of her thoughts from the TEDTalk
"What 'tis to love?" Shakespeare said. I think our ancestors -- I think human beings have been wondering about this question since they sat around their campfires or lay and watched the stars a million years ago. I started out by trying to figure out what romantic love was by looking at the last 45 years of research on -- just the psychological research -- and as it turns out, there's a very specific group of things that happen when you fall in love” says Helen Fisher
The first thing that happens is what I call -- a person begins to take on what I call, "special meaning." As a truck driver once said to me, he said, "The world had a new center, and that center was Mary Anne."
But anyway, not only does this person take on special meaning, you focus your attention on them. You aggrandize them. But you have intense energy. You feel intense elation when things are going well; mood swings into horrible despair when things are going poorly. Real dependence on this person.
But the main characteristics of romantic love are craving: an intense craving to be with a particular person, not just sexually, but emotionally.
The other main characteristic is motivation. The motor in your brain begins to crank, and you want this person.
And last but not least, it is an obsession.
I began to realize that romantic love is not an emotion. But actually, it's a drive. It comes from the motor of the mind, the wanting part of the mind, the craving part of the mind.
And in fact, I think it's more powerful than the sex drive. You know, if you ask somebody to go to bed with you, and they say, "No, thank you," you certainly don't kill yourself or slip into a clinical depression. But certainly, around the world, people who are rejected in love will kill for it. People live for love. They kill for love. They die for love. They have songs, poems, novels, sculptures, paintings, myths, legends. In over 175 societies, people have left their evidence of this powerful brain system. I have come to think it's one of the most powerful brain systems on earth for both great joy and great sorrow.
And I've also come to think that it's one of three basically different brain systems that evolved from mating and reproduction. One is the sex drive: the craving for sexual gratification. The second of these three brain systems is romantic love: that elation, obsession of early love. And the third brain system is attachment: that sense of calm and security you can feel for a long-term partner.
But these three brain systems: lust, romantic love and attachment, aren't always connected to each other. You can feel deep attachment to a long-term partner while you feel intense romantic love for somebody else, while you feel the sex drive for people unrelated to these other partners. In short, we're capable of loving more than one person at a time.
So I don't think, honestly, we're an animal that was built to be happy; we are an animal that was built to reproduce. I think the happiness we find, we make. And I think, however, we can make good relationships with each other.
I'm just simply saying that a world without love is a deadly place.
There's magic to love!
Video, Text and Image curtsy TEDTalk, Click here to read more
ॐ नमः शिवाय 
Om Namah Shivaya
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How many lives you can live – Sarah kay

Feb 1, 2012

WANDERLUST: Neelkanth Mahadev Temple - Rishikesh

New Year usually brings me to the most spiritual place – Rishikesh on the foothills of Himalayas.
My stay at Sivananda Ashram, specially at Guru Nivas on the banks of Holy River Ganges, has always been a pleasure and spiritually uplifting. But in this post, I am sharing my journey to one of the most powerful temples of Shiva around Rishikesh - Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. The 4 hour trek passes through picturesque dense forest alongside serene rivers Pankaja and Madhumati. But before I take you on to a journey through my images captured on the way, I would like to share…

A brief note on Neelkanth Mahadev Temple...

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is situated at a height of 1330 meters dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, the place where the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple currently stands is the sacred location where Lord Shiva consumed the poison Halahala that originated from the sea when Devas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons) churned the sea in order to obtain Amrita. The poison emanated during the Samudramanthan (churning of ocean) made his throat blue in color. Thus, Lord Shiva is also known as Neelkanth, literally meaning The Blue Throated One.
TEXT: Curtsy Wikipedia, click here to read more…
Now come and walk with me… and hope that you will feel the energy, the serenity and the bliss I experience there.

The morning’s at the Guru Nivas are usually beautiful with the sunlight peaking around the surrounding hills and the soft flow of Ganges is very inviting for meditation sessions as well as few cups of hot tea brewed on the ghat, specially in the cold winter morning.

The Ghat near the Guru Nivas - Sivananda Ashram
The wall with blue color is the steps from Guru Nivas
On the day of my journey to Neelkanth Temple, I wanted to have a ritual bath in one of the most beautiful ghat in Rishikesh – Triveni Ghat.

The picturesque Triveni Ghat - Rishikesh
Well I was not the only one around with same idea.

A sadhu getting ready ... at Triveni Ghat Rishikesh

Some are all set to go...
And as you leave the banks of Ganges, you come across beautiful valleys of the river that takes you almost half the way to Neelkanth....

The beautiful valley and the river along side the trek... 
I was really surprised to see this small kid happily walking towards Neelkanth Mahadev Temple which was 12 KM's away... and in that winter chill without any shirt on.... Well that is how traditional Brahmins used to go to the temple... 
Some of the trekkers of all size...

A hidden cave... and a beautiful water fall - on the way to Neelkanth
This is one of my favorite places to take rest on the way... Actually there is a small cave behind the curtain of waterfall, where there is a small Shivalinga is placed and some one always comes and do traditional Puja... so you always find some flower on the stone Shivalinga there... This I have been seeing for almost a decade now...

Offerings to Lord Shiva - At Neelkanth Temple
It was around 2PM, when we reached the temple and it was a pleasure to be greeted with flowers, incense and sound of Om Namah Shivaya filling up the environment...

And the Neelkanth Mahadev, inside the sanctum
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Its believed that one who prays here even for little time, gets manifold benefits. Many Tantriks, Sadhu's and Yogi's come in the forest around here and do their rituals and sadhanas ... to get siddhi's and other Tantrik powers. For me, I have always found it to be very serene and peaceful to spend some time, in Mantra Yoga and meditation... May you all feel the energy of the place, through these images...

The Sunset over the Holy River Ganges - At Sivananda Ashram
At the end of the journey, I reached to the Muni Ki Reti (Sand beach of Yogi's) and watched the sun go down on a very uplifting day. The soft murmur of river flowing along side brought many beautiful memories associated with this place and then to my favorite place Buddha's Cafe down the beach...
Hope you have enjoyed this journey with me and may you all have the blessings of supreme cosmic source of peace and happiness that you believe in... 

नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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The long walk to Rishikesh - Kaanwarias

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