Posts Tagged ‘festivals’

Eid at Fatima’s home, 050619

June 6, 2019

Fatima (in the lehenga..she’s 20, can you believe it?) teaches K1 Hindi. She invited us over for Eid and, with her family, extended such warm hospitality!

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Fatima, her parents and brother Zain, with K1 and K2

When we got home, I explained to the children how Imitiaz, her father, had fallen on hard times and had to shut his tailoring shop. The children have just brought out some toys that they want to give Zain, her 7-year-old brother.

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The feast at Fatima’s
I am very proud of of Fatima, who works in an office; and I am very proud of my grandchildren. This warmth and inclusiveness is what Eid, or any other festival, is all about.

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mahishAsura mardhini, 191018

October 19, 2018

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अयि गिरिनन्दिनि नन्दितमेदिनि विश्वविनोदिनि नन्दिनुते
गिरिवरविन्ध्यशिरोऽधिनिवासिनि विष्णुविलासिनि जिष्णुनुते ।
भगवति हे शितिकण्ठकुटुम्बिनि भूरिकुटुम्बिनि भूरिकृते
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते ॥ १ ॥

Ayi Ranna-Durmada Shatru-Vadho[a-U]dita Durdhara-Nirjara Shakti-Bhrte
Catura-Vicaara Dhuriinna-Mahaashiva Duuta-Krta Pramatha-[A]dhipate |
Durita-Duriiha Duraashaya-Durmati Daanava-Duta Krtaanta-Mate
Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura-Mardini Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute || 5 ||

Meaning:
(O Divine Mother, I invoke You and take refuge in Your Auspicious Feet)
5.1: Salutations to You O Divine Mother; I Invoke You; Who Manifested to Destroy the Battle-Intoxicated Arrogant Demons and Who is the possessor of Unrestrainable and Imperishable Power,
5.2: (I Invoke You) Who made Lord Shiva Her Messenger, that Shiva Who is Distinguished by Cleverness in Deliberation and is the Lord of the Ghosts and Goblins,
5.3: Who is Honoured for Bringing an End (i.e. Rejecting) to the Proposal of the Evil-Minded and Ignorant Messenger of the Demon (Shumbha) (and hence bringing an end to the demons themselves),
5.4: Victory to You, Victory to You, (I take Refuge in Your Auspicious Feet) O the Destroyer of Demon Mahishasura; (Victory to You) Who Shine with Beautiful Locks of Hair and Who is the Daughter of the Mountain.

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सुरललना ततथेयि तथेयि कृताभिनयोदर नृत्यरते
कृत कुकुथः कुकुथो गडदादिकताल कुतूहल गानरते ।
धुधुकुट धुक्कुट धिंधिमित ध्वनि धीर मृदंग निनादरते
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते ॥ ९ ॥

Sura-Lalanaa Tatatheyi Tatheyi Krta-Abhinayo-[U]dara Nrtya-Rate
Krta Kukuthah Kukutho Gaddadaadika-Taala Kutuuhala Gaana-Rate |
Dhudhukutta Dhukkutta Dhimdhimita Dhvani Dhiira Mrdamga Ninaada-Rate
Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura-Mardini Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute || 9 ||

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Meaning:
(O Divine Mother, I invoke You and take refuge in Your Auspicious Feet)
9.1: (Salutations to You O Divine Mother) I Invoke You; Following the Rhythm of Whose Great Battle the Celestial Dancers Dance the rhythm of Ta-Tha-Theyi, Ta-Theyi, expressing the sentiment of the battle with their Dramatic Acts,
9.2: (I Invoke You) Following the Rhythm of Whose Great Battle the Celestial Musicians Create Music capturing the Tense Eagerness of the battle with the Talas (musical beats) like Ku-Kutha, Ku-Kutha, Ga-Da-Dha, Ga-Da-Dha,
9.3: Following the Rhythm of Whose Great Battle a Steady Deep Sound of Dhu-Dhu-Kuta, Dhu-Kuta, Dhim-Dhimi is played in the background from the Mridangam (a musical drum),
9.4: Victory to You, Victory to You, (I take Refuge in Your Auspicious Feet) O the Destroyer of Demon Mahishasura; (Victory to You) Who Shine with Beautiful Locks of Hair and Who is the Daughter of the Mountain.

सहितमहाहव मल्लमतल्लिक मल्लितरल्लक मल्लरते
विरचितवल्लिक पल्लिकमल्लिक झिल्लिकभिल्लिक वर्गवृते ।
शितकृतफुल्ल समुल्लसितारुण तल्लजपल्लव सल्ललिते
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते ॥ १२ ॥
Sahita-Mahaahava Mallama-Tallika Malli-Tarallaka Malla-Rate
Viracita-Vallika Pallika-Mallika Jhillika-Bhillika Varga-Vrte |
Shita-Krta-Phulla Samullasita-[A]runna Tallaja-Pallava Sal-Lalite
Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura-Mardini Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute || 12 ||

Meaning:
(O Divine Mother, I invoke You and take refuge in Your Auspicious Feet)
12.1: (Salutations to You O Divine Mother) I Invoke You; Who is Accompanied in the Great Battle against Excellent Wrestlers (Fighters) by Girls who appear Tender like Jasmine Fighting against the Enemies,
12.2: (I Invoke You) Whose Accompaniments are Composed of Girls from the Bheel Tribe who are Tender like Creepers of Jasmine and buzz like Swarms of Bees,
12.3: Whose Face Play a Smile Created by Joy which appear like Dawn Shining forth with Red Colour and Blossoming the Excellent Buds of Flowers,
12.4: Victory to You, Victory to You, (I take Refuge in Your Auspicious Feet) O the Destroyer of Demon Mahishasura; (Victory to You) Who Shine with Beautiful Locks of Hair and Who is the Daughter of the Mountain.

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विजितसहस्रकरैक सहस्रकरैक सहस्रकरैकनुते
कृतसुरतारक सङ्गरतारक सङ्गरतारक सूनुसुते ।
सुरथसमाधि समानसमाधि समाधिसमाधि सुजातरते ।
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते ॥ १७ ॥
Vijita-Sahasra-Karaika Sahasra-Karaika Sahasra-Karaika-Nute
Krta-Sura-Taaraka Sanggara-Taaraka Sanggara-Taaraka Suunu-Sute |
Suratha-Samaadhi Samaana-Samaadhi Samaadhi-Samaadhi Sujaata-Rate |
Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura-Mardini Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute || 17 ||

Meaning:
(O Divine Mother, I invoke You and take refuge in Your Auspicious Feet)
17.1: (Salutations to You O Divine Mother) I Invoke You; Who Conquer Thousands of Enemies who fight against Her with Thousands of Hands (by manifesting Her Own Thousand Hands); Who then Make Thousands of Hands (of Devotees) Praise Her,
17.2: (I Invoke You) Who Created the Rescuer of the Devas (Son Kartikeya) to Fight with Demon Tarkasura and then Urged Her Son for that Great Fight,
17.3: Who is Pleased with both: The Devotional Contemplation like King Suratha for Worldly Gains, and also the Excellent Devotional Contemplation like Merchant Samadhi for Spiritual Knowledge,
17.4: Victory to You, Victory to You, (I take Refuge in Your Auspicious Feet) O the Destroyer of Demon Mahishasura; (Victory to You) Who Shine with Beautiful Locks of Hair and Who is the Daughter of the Mountain.

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पदकमलं करुणानिलये वरिवस्यति योऽनुदिनं सुशिवे
अयि कमले कमलानिलये कमलानिलयः स कथं न भवेत् ।
तव पदमेव परम्पदमित्यनुशीलयतो मम किं न शिवे
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते ॥ १८ ॥
Pada-Kamalam Karunnaa-Nilaye Varivasyati Yo-[A]nudinam Su-Shive
Ayi Kamale Kamalaa-Nilaye Kamalaa-Nilayah Sa Katham Na Bhavet |
Tava Padam-Eva Param-Padam-Ity-Anushiilayato Mama Kim Na Shive
Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura-Mardini Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute || 18 ||

Meaning:
(O Divine Mother, I invoke You and take refuge in Your Auspicious Feet)
18.1: (Salutations to You O Divine Mother) I Invoke You knowing that Whoever Serves Your Highly Auspicious Lotus Feet Everyday, Which is an Abode of Compassion, …
18.2: (He Serves) That Lotus (Lotus Feet), Which is an Abode of Kamala (Goddess Mahalakshmi); (Therefore) Will He Not Himself Become an Abode of Kamala (i.e. filled with Purity and Prosperity)?
18.3: Your Feet Indeed is the Supreme Feet (i.e. Supreme Refuge); Therefore How can I Not Practise Devotion Towards them, O Auspicious Mother?
18.4: Victory to You, Victory to You, (I take Refuge in Your Auspicious Feet) O the Destroyer of Demon Mahishasura; (Victory to You) Who Shine with Beautiful Locks of Hair and Who is the Daughter of the Mountain.

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अयि मयि दीन दयालुतया कृपयैव त्वया भवितव्यमुमे
अयि जगतो जननी कृपयासि यथासि तथानुमितासिरते ।
यदुचितमत्र भवत्युररीकुरुतादुरुतापमपाकुरुते
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते ॥ २१ ॥
Ayi Mayi Diina Dayaalu-Tayaa Krpaya-Iva Tvayaa Bhavitavyam-Ume
Ayi Jagato Jananii Krpayaasi Yathaasi Tathanu-mita-Asira-Te |
Yad-Ucitam-Atra Bhavatyurarii-Kurutaa-Duru-Taapam-Apaakurute
Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura-Mardini Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute || 21 ||

Meaning:
(O Divine Mother, I invoke You and take refuge in Your Auspicious Feet)
21.1: (Salutations to You O Divine Mother) I Invoke You; You Must Bestow Your Grace on Me, O Mother Uma, Who is Compassionate to the Miserable,
21.2: (I Invoke You) O Mother of the Universe; Just as Your Grace is Showered (on the Devotees), In the Same Manner are Your Arrows Scattered (on the Enemies) (destroying their egos),
21.3 Please do Whatever is Appropriate at this time, O Worshipful Mother, to Remove the Sorrows and Afflictions (of the world) which has become Difficult for me to bear,
21.4: Victory to You, Victory to You, (I take Refuge in Your Auspicious Feet) O the Destroyer of Demon Mahishasura; (Victory to You) Who Shine with Beautiful Locks of Hair and Who is the Daughter of the Mountain.

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For the full Mahishasura Mardhini Stothram, click

here

clicking on each Sanskrit word will also give its meaning.

Rangoli on Ganesha Chathurthi, 130919

September 13, 2018

Instead of the stock Ganesha Puja photos, I thought I’d click some of the beautiful rangolis that I saw on my morning walk. So much art on our roads and footpaths, I felt like documenting and preserving these transient works.

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Kolams like these are called “puLLi kOlam” in Tamizh, that is, they have first an arrangement of dots, which are joined together or have lines drawn around them (sometimes a single continuous line); very geometrical and precise.

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Ones like this are freestyle:

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Let me end with a lovely Ganesha-themed puLLi kOlam:

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lagOri, Kaikondrahalli kere, 080117

January 8, 2017

We often lament about our children using tablets and X-boxes all the time…but I find, often that even our urban children are quite in touch with the traditional games of childhood.

Today, when I went to Kaikondrahalli lake, I found this pile of flat stones, with a young girl piling them up carefully.

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I knew that a game of

Lagori

was in progress, and waited a bit while the girls surrounded the pile of stones and began their game.

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The game involves a ball and a pile of flat stones, generally played between two teams in a large outdoor area. A member of one team (the seekers) throws a tennis ball at a pile of stones to knock them over. The seekers then try to restore the pile of stones while the opposing team (the hitters) throws the ball at them. If the ball touches a seeker, she is out and her team continues without her. A seeker can always safeguard herself by touching an opposite team member before the ball hits her.

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There are some other rules that may be added in different regions of the country.

So here, to please all of us, is the scene of children (the girls were dressed to the nines for an event at their school, which is adjacent to the kere) playing a traditional game which does not need electricity, and which is one that their parents and grandparents have probably played!

Turahalli Day, 281114

December 1, 2014

For some years now, we’ve been celebrating

Turahalli Habba, or Festival, or Day

just to register the presence of those who love this patch of forest, and want to prevent any more encroachment

Here’s the

FB page

A group of us decided to do the bird walk, and here we are, at the MCS before heading out to Turahalli:

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Light gathered in the sky:

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I spotted this little gem on the side of the road:

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tells me it is a Dodge Truck from the 40’s…

“The grille is very distinctive. Don’t know the exact model, but it sure seems similar to

this

he says. Indeed it seems to be the same!

We arrived a bit late, thanks to some befuddling GPS, but still got the rising sun:

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At Turahalli, a lot of activities were going on.

There were rock climbers:

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There were people just enjoying the peace:

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Some were sharing their knowledge:

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Some were collecting trash, and laughing about their “spoils”!

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It was good to see far less trash than before, and even more heartening to see children collecting it, too:

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There was cycling:

It was good to see adult and children’s cycles!

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We opened our “birding account” on the way to Turahalli with this female

KESTREL:

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MBK pointed out this

PEACOCK

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but later the butterfly group

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told us that some people were trying to poach these birds by setting the dogs on to them. I have made a complaint to the Forest Dept, and am hoping for more active surveillance.

A

SOUTHERN COUCAL

skulked through the trees, but we were able to see it.

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A delightful

CLERODENDRUM

greeted us:

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The butterfly group got 50 species! Here’s a

COMMON CROW:

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I found this dead

FRUIT-PIERCING MOTH:

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I saw a

YELLOW PANSY:

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It was not nice, though, to see the loooong line of cars which had come for the event…but I suppose it can’t be helped!

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Naturally, there is a huge block of buildings coming up right opposite, with this as the selling point:

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Of course, some of us finished with a good breakfast at Adiga’s:

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On the way back home, I was wondering if I could hire this silver chariot!

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I’ve put up more photos on my FB album,

here

We hope the sun always shines on an undisturbed patch of Turahalli Forest:

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Pumpkin Farm, 191014

October 21, 2014

D and I took the children to a pumpkin farm, while A studied for her exams.

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There were pumpkins everywhere, in huge heaps.

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I caught some munchkins amongst the pumpkins:

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The name of this company is Shaffer and Son!

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I enjoyed seeing the Halloween-themed displays:

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Such pretty gourds!

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We met a few people who had apparently passed on:

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The children, of course, had a great time!

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Here they are in the “fort”:

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Boys will always be rambunctious, and girls will always look on!

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Halloween can be a heavy pumpkin!

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There were several ticketed rides.

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There were a lot of old farm implements, and vehicles, too.

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Oooh, Bonnie and Clyde!

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I never knew I could find tigers (and that, too, a white tiger!) in Missouri…

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I liked the persistence of this sign.

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We went home in the setting sun:

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This is my favourite picture from the evening. Golden autumn moments of childhood….

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click here

for the FB album of photographs.

Here’s wishing those of you who celebrate it, a happy Halloween!

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Memories of Pujo

October 2, 2014

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চেযে দেখলাম নিজের মনের মধ্যে।
পুজোর সে দিনগুলি আবার
চোখের সামনে এসে পড়ল।
ঢাকি, প্রসাদ, নতুন কাপড় জামা,মিষ্টি,ঘুঘনি,সে যে ভীড় ….
মনে করিলাম সেই দৃশ্যগুলোকে।
আজ আমি অনেক দূরে আছি.
তবুও আমার মন ক্ষণে পৌঁছে গেল
মায়ের কাছে….
মহিষাসুর মর্ধিনি! দেবী!
আমার প্রনাম স্বীকার কর গো মা!
তোমার চরণ স্পর্শতে
আমার মন ও আত্মা
কমলের মতন ফুটিয়া পড়ে।
জননী, ই জগতের রক্ষা কর !

I looked back, in my mind,
And revisited the days of Pujo.
The dhaakis, prasad, new clothes, sweets, those crowds..
I saw those scenes once again.
Today, I am very far away.
But my mind reached the Mother
In an instant.
O Slayer of Mahishasur! O Goddess!
Accept my reverence, O Mother!
At the touch of your feet
My mind and soul
Blossom like lotuses.
O Mother, protect this Earth!

here

is my blogpost from 8 years ago! Happy Bijoya to everyone!

Midsummer’s Eve, Linkoping, 200614

June 25, 2014

Though I’d asked Prashanth in the morning, he mistook the midsummer’s eve Maypole dancing to be taking place on the next day; at about 4pm, he realized his mistake, and we set off to the place where it was taking place.

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Here’s a video of the dancing that he took last year:

And of the music:

Though the dancing had finished, the maypole was still up:

We saw the Love Pavilion:

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There was a small stream:

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There was a pretty wooden bridge across it:

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Perhaps this gentleman was going over his memories, with that reminiscent smile on his face?

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There were plenty of flowers blooming:

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this Silverpil tree (Salix alba)

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had some beautiful bracket fungi:

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It is the custom on this day to wear crowns of wildflowers:

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But that doesn’t mean one can’t be in touch with modernity!

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The birds were there, too!

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There were some Vikings around:

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Some kind of game with wooden skittles was being played:

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I looked at some pretty old architecture:

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This is the Stora Hotel:

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Here’s coffee… by George!

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I loved this window:

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This one is from 1912!

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With some serpentine touches:

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Some shop windows looked inviting:

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So did this art gallery (it was closed, of course)

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Of course, the Tourist Bureau was closed, too!

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Let me close with this flower (probably a Columbine?)

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we then walked towards the Linkoping Cathedral…but that’s the next post!

The Holi Full Moon

March 18, 2014

The full moon of

Holi

festival where evil is burnt up…..

She came up when we were visiting our friends.

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She rose along the side of the buildings:

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She told the children in the playground that it was time to go home:

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She looked like a sandal-paste moon:

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But later, she looked more prosaic:

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A few trees that are entwined with Hinduism…

February 28, 2014

As I wandered around the kalyANa mantapam (festivity venue) at Chromepet, it struck me that there are so many trees that are inextricably entwined with Hindu rituals and customs…and I was lucky to be able to photograph some of them, right there. I am giving the Tamizh names and the link to the Wikipaedia entries about them, too.

One is the

pArijAtha or “pavazha malli” (literally, “coral jasmine” maram (maram is tree is Tamizh).

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The flowers of the tree are very beautiful:

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They fall like stars to the ground, where they are gathered up for worship by devout Hindus in the morning.

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Though the wiki entry mentions the mythology of the tree being the focus of a tussle between Rukmani and Sathyabhama, two of Krishna’s beloved, there is a story about Hanuman having his abode amongst the roots of this tree:

“AnjanEyam athi pAtalAnanam/ kAnchanAdri kamanIya vigraham/ pArijAtha tharu mUla vAsinam/ bhAvayAmi bhava mAna nandanam”.

My parents had a huge tree in the garden, and I would gather the flowers, distribute them amongst our neighbours, and take some to the nearby “vyAyAm ghar” (exercise place) where there was an image of Hanuman, and offer them there. My practice of reciting the Anjaneya Ashtothram (108 names of Hanuman) dates from the time I was 14 or 15…and in spite of my agnosticism, it’s something I never fail to do, till date!

Another tree that was common in gardens of temples is the

Vilva maram

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The fruit of the tree is used for both food and medicine, even today. In folklore, the tri-foliate form of leaves symbolize the trident that Shiva holds in his right hand.

The third tree, that is used everywhere in Hindu rites and rituals, is the

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana&quot; Banana or Plantain tree, called vAzhai maram

Every part of the tree is useful; the stem is used as a vegetable (yes, I cook it, too, and it’s one of my daughter’s favourite vegetables!) as is the raw fruit; the flowers are also cooked; the “petals” of the banana flower were often used as informal containers during meals; the leaves are an essential part of the south Indian feast…an “elai shAppAdu” (leaf meal) is a must, where the food is served on plantain leaves, with the “nuNi” (tip of the leaf) intact. (The leaf-tip must face to the left, I don’t know why that rule!)

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The banana stems are chopped, and the mantapam entrance is decorated with the leaves and the banana flower forming a graceful arch of welcome for the guests.

Many of our dishes are also cooked or steamed in banana leaves, which form a great traditional lining. Even today, I enjoy unwrapping the spiral of banana leaf which encloses the “kadubu”, a Kannada dish somewhat like an iddli. Kerala dishes made with jackfruit and rice flour are also steamed in plantain leaves.

I photographed a very huge variety of this plant at Lalbagh, on 080211:

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The plant was mis-labelled as “Crown of Thorns”, though. I also clicked the stamens, which are cooked after the pistils are carefully removed:

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In Coorg tradition, the bridegroom chops down several banana stems in symbolism for wild animals, to show his manly prowess. In Tamil Nadu, we sometimes had young women married to symbolic banana stems when the grooms could not be physically present. No, I refuse to go further with the banana symbolism!

Another tree that is always associated with Hindu rites is the

mA maram (mango tree).

The mango is considered the king of fruits in India, and the wood is used for cheap furniture; the leaves are an essential part of the “thOraNam” decorating doorways to homes, and the fruit, in its baby (mAvadu) and raw (mAngAi) forms are used in making delicious pickles.

In this photograph, taken before the varalakshmi pUjA, you can see both banana trees and mango leaves for sale, to decorate the goddess’ mantapams in people’s homes.

IMG_0183 Banana trees and mango leaves to decorate

I won’t write much about the

Coconut palm…thennai maram …as it is so ubiquitous!

You can see how palm fronds are used for decoration:

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In this pic you can see coconuts rolled up in dhotis, to be gifted to the priests:

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We cannot do without coconuts for any puja!
It’s a great pity that our strong links to trees seem to be getting diluted these days…and we seem to think of them not as living beings, complementing our lives, but hindrances to “development”, especially to the faster flow of motorized traffic!