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Showing posts from July, 2009

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The Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves , located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, about 11 Km off the coast of the Gateway of India, Mumbai, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to these caves, excavated probably in the 6 th century CE, is awe-inspiring, and also thought-provoking. Over the years, I have visited the caves a number of times, and also attended a number of talks by experts in the fields of art, history and archaeology on the caves. Together, they help me understand these caves, their art, and the people they were created for, just a little bit better. Every new visit, every new talk, every new article I read about the caves, fleshes out the image of what the island and the caves would have been like, at their peak. I last wrote about the caves on this blog, in 2011, almost exactly 11 years ago. Since then, my understanding of the caves has, I would like to think, marginally improved. Hence this attempt to write a new and updated post, trying to bring to life, the caves of Elephan

Colours of the Festive Season

The month of July brings along more than just the rain – it marks the beginning of the most auspicious period of the year, a period dotted with festivals. The first of these is the Varalakshmi Puja, the south Indian equivalent of the Lakshmi Puja during Diwali. This is strictly a family festival, the right for performing the puja being handed over from mother-in-law to daughter-in-law. I would love to give you a glimpse into the grand way we perform the puja at home, but unfortunately, we are in a period of mourning, and haven’t performed the puja for the last two years. Hopefully, the period will end this year, and we can get along with our festivals… Meanwhile, I accompanied my sister to buy the flowers required for the puja. Join us in our trip….. The flower market at Dadar is certainly the most popular, the most crowded, and the place to be if you want fresh and wonderful flowers, at the best rates, of course…… Here is a photoblog of our journey… Our very first halt - all s

Rains in Mumbai

The rains came at last , and brought along the usual problems – flooding for one, failure of my network for another. The latter was simply because some water entered the main switchboard of our broadband connection in the building, and it took them 2 whole days to figure out what the problem was. Water logging in Mumbai is no longer news, though the news channels keep calling it ‘breaking news’ for some reason which somehow makes no sense to me. After all, what else can we expect, living on an island which once belonged to fishermen, but now belongs to builders who are intent on covering every piece of land with concrete? The area we live in was once covered with salt pans. Some chap got the idea of leasing it out to builders, who promptly built around a 100 buildings in the area. The salt commissioner then went to court, challenging the ownership of the land. That was about 35 years back. Till date, there has been no settlement, the case is still in court, and we are technically l

The Newest landmark in Mumbai - The Bandra -Worli Sea Link

It was just a long-overdue social call which ended up with something I had been wishing for, all week! We had been to Matunga, to my aunt’s parents’ place, and my uncle (mama) volunteered to drop us back home – nothing so special about that, right? But what was special was a ‘slight’ diversion – so we could go over the newest landmark of Mumbai – the Bandra Worli Sea Link! Since the last few months , we have been looking forward to going over the much-awaited bridge (the plans for the bridge began when I was in college….), and we saw the previews to the inauguration on TV enthusiastically, wishing we were there, especially during the fireworks, the night before the ceremony!! If this had been a few years earlier, I would have been among those who jammed the bridge on the first day, eager to be among the first to go over it. Now, however, it is another matter, and I waited patiently for my turn, knowing that once the toll collection started, things would be much easier…. Sunday’s was