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Showing posts from October, 2011

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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Corbett Falls

In an area surrounded by mountains and inter-crossing rivers, a waterfall comes as no surprise. However, when you enter a gate just off the highway, drive along a lane leading into a dense forest of teak, and then alight to walk through a narrow path cut amidst the dense undergrowth, you know that this is something special! I was at Jim Corbett National Park as part of the Club Mahindra Bloggers Trip, and we were visiting the Corbett Falls, situated 25 Km from Ramnagar and 4 Km from Kaladhungi, on the Kaladhungi – Ramnagar Highway. The falls were an unexpected treat, giving each one of us something to remember it by… For some it was the waterfall itself, the sound of gushing water drawing them from a distance, for some of us, the inviting sound was drowned by other sights and sounds along the way, and we tarried here and there, to revel in the glory of nature or take a pic of an insect basking in the morning sun. No matter what our interests, when we finally did get to the waterfall

On the Kosi at Corbett

The Kosi river forms the eastern boundary of the Corbett National Park, and Club Mahindra’s Corbett Safari Resort is located on its banks. The winter had begun to set in, and the river was just a narrow stream, though flowing quite deep and fast at some stretches. The rest of the river was just a bed of stones worn smooth by the flow over the years, a tempting sight for me, since as you all know, I love to collect stones! On the very first day of our Bloggers trip at the Club Mahindra Corbett Safari Resort, we went upstream to an old bridge to try out some adventure sports.

A Welcome Break - Bloggers Trip to Corbett

Our school library had a system where we were only allowed to choose among books that were considered ‘suitable’ for us to read. Raised on a steady diet of Enid Blyton books, I still remember the first time we were given one of Jim Corbett’s books to read. Our teachers had kept these books away from us, because they worried that our young and innocent female minds would be affected by tales of man eaters. They seemed to be partly right, because, for the first week, many of us spent sleepless nights imagining man eaters instead of monsters under our bed! I was fascinated by these tales though, and continued to read his books, in spite of the occasional nightmare! It took a long time for me to discover that not all of Corbett’s books were about man eaters! There was so much more! He wrote about the people who made up ‘His India’ as he called it, about the villages, the customs and traditions, their beliefs and faiths, their fear and their superstitions….. and above all, the

Nine Days - Nine Goddesses!

The Chedda Nagar Murugan Temple has an interesting way of celebrating Navaratri. The focal point of the celebration is the elaborate homam (sacrifice) which is conducted over all the nine days of the festival. The temple is packed with devotees waiting for a glimpse of the sacrifice offered in front of a pot of water, which is invested with the power of the sacrifice, and then poured over the idol of the goddess. Sitting for any part of the homam is impossible when it comes to Samhith, and I have no hopes of attending any of the events there for the next few years. However, there is something which draws even Samhith to the temple religiously for all the nine days..... This is the image of the goddess made for the homam . Every day, for nine days, the decoration changes, and the image represents a different form of the goddess. It might depict a story, or just a form of the goddess, but it is interesting enough for Samhith to want to go and see which arrangement has been made everyd

Durga Puja at Chembur

Over the last ten days, I have taken you along on a tour through the South Indian celebration of Navaratri in Mumbai. It is now time for something different. I usually try to take Samhith for the Ramleela as well as other Navaratra Pandals. Dandiya is something I havent been able to introduce him to, and that is mainly because I dont dance at all! However, if there is one celebration we manage to catch, it is the Bengali Durga Puja. Somehow, the image of Mahishasura Mardini seems to attract me each year, as do the decorations..... So, here is the Chembur Durga Puja this year......

The Last Kolu Pics for this year!

Some of you might be bored of Kolus by now, after seeing so many over the last few days! However, before I close the Navaratri chapter for this year, here are the last three kolu arrangements for this year..... The Fine Arts Society, Chembur , has a mammoth 15 steps Kolu which draws visitors over all the ten days of the festival. Besides, there is also usually an interesting decoration based on a theme.  This year, the theme was a dual one - Of Andal and Meera, represented picturesquely with handmade dolls!

Fun With Lego in Mumbai!!

Dusshera has come and gone, but I am not done with my Navaratri posts. There are a couple of interesting golus and lots of pics I still have to share with you, but I am interrupting my Navaratri series to tell you all about an event we attended yesterday. It was so exciting and so much fun that I just cant wait any more to write about it!  Those of you who connect with me on Facebook already know that I was planning to attend the Lego Build a life size Fire Truck Event at High Street Phoenix in association with Hamleys. And all those who have been reading my blog know that Samhith loves Lego. We love to build and are big Lego fans. How could we miss such an interesting event????We set off soon after lunch, and by the time we reached, the Fire truck was almost half done! It was fascinating to see a structure as tall as me built from Lego bricks, and Samhith had to go close and touch it himself before believing that it was indeed built from bricks, and not from cardboard or someth

Yet another creative Kolu..

Some of you have been wondering where we get all the ideas for our kolus. The answer is actually quite simple - from each other! We keep looking out for ideas, and happily pick up others's ideas for our own kolu! Why else do you think Samhith is so eager to go and visit others' kolus? Besides, creativity does run in the family! Growing up, I kept hearing about the fantastic and innovative arrangements my uncles made when they were younger, and Shankar's uncles and aunts have a very creative streak too! No wonder Samhith is so enthusiastic about this!

More Navaratri Kolus for you....

Any festival signifies a hectic time, but none more so than Navaratri! We have to visit all our relatives and friends to see what they have come up with for the festival, catch up with all the kolus in the vicinity, see the latest arrangement at the temple, and over and above all this, we also have to play host to everyone who visits us! It can get really hectic, especially with school on in full swing, but its an enjoyable ten days! This is practically the only time of the year we get to meet so many of our said relatives and friends. Everyone is too busy the rest of the year with their own lives to go and meet anyone else! Besides, we also get some wonderful ideas for our kolu next year!  Since the people we visit are almost usually the same, the dolls and kolus are almost usually the same too! Only sometimes do we see something new, so this time, I decided not to bore you all with the same kolu pics from everyones' houses, but just some pics of things I found special or inter