Sunday, August 23, 2015

Grand Place - Grote Markt , Antwerpen

Grand Place building is nothing but the #Stadhuis or townhall of #Antwerp. But, It's not just an ordinary town hall.

If you’re touring Antwerp, this town hall is something that is hard to miss - it's the large beautiful building with all colorful flags flying, on the banks of river Scheldt. The town hall is so beautiful and steeped in rich colorful history. It an attractive example of #Brabantine Gothic architecture, which was constructed in 1565 and still standing strong. (Infact, the city is celebrating it’s 450th birthday this year in a grand way! )

The town hall is an impressive architecture and located in an equally impressive square. So far, we have not gone inside, but I heard that the inside is also so gorgeous and has some excellent paintings. No wonder it is a #UNESCO World Heritage site.

The square has an attractive statue in the centre – “The statue of Brabo” which has an interesting story behind. It’s childish!!, but still let me share what I heard ;P 

The story goes like there was a Giant who controlled the river. If you were unwilling to pay the toll he would cut off your hand. One day a sailor, Silvius Brabo, challenged the Giant to a dual. Brabo won and cut off the Giant's head and hand. He threw the hand into the water, which is #Flemish for hand throw or "#handwerpen". That is how Antwerp got it's name ! 

I have been here in the day as well during the night time. Hands down!!!, the building looks amazingly beautiful at night as they are lit up. You should come here both day and night to compare for yourself!

If you’re on a short tour, It's a quick stop but is definitely a worthy to visit and spend some time over this wonderfully-crafted building and on the river side cafes, pubs, relaxing spots around it (the area is called as #GroteMarkt). You’ll not be disappointed! 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Will "Bharat Ratna" add anything to Netaji's stature?

There’s a speculative news that Former PM Vajpayee, hockey legend Dhyanchand, freedom fighters Subhash Chandra Bose and Madan Mohan Malviya are likely to be recognized with India’s highest civilian award “Bharat Ratna”. Soon after the news start spreading, Subhas Chandra Bose' Family said they would "not accept" it and demands the government to demystify the death of Bose, first.

What Netaji's family said is absolutely correct. Will the Bharat Ratna add anything to Netaji's stature? I say a “BIG NO”. Giving this award to one of the greatest personalities of Freedom Struggle after decades (that too after many actors, sports persons – influenced by politicians to fix-up their image) , has absolutely add nothing to the great pride of Bose.

It is a shame to even think, personalities like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at par with other politicians , sports persons, and media/cinema icons. Leaders like Netaji are immortal and beyond the descriptions of these awards. Let us not use our limited knowledge to judge them and let us stop humiliating these great leaders by giving a medal.

This would be a kind of de-recognizing or “fixing a price' for their great sacrifice to the country. And the people of the country (not just Bose’ family) has a right to know what forced Netaji to resign as Congress President and had to leave India in a mystical manner. Let the government (both BJP and Congress has the responsibility) reveal the hidden secrets first.