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Review of Executive Lounges at New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS)

During my recent trip to Uttarakhand , I was faced with a problem I had never encountered before. We were passing through Delhi, but we had hardly any time in the city. On earlier visits when I have had to change trains/flights at Delhi, I have always arrived in the morning and left again at night, visiting relatives in between. This time, I was arriving in the city at night, and leaving again early in the morning. There was hardly any time to visit people. I would only have a couple of hours with them before I’d have to leave again. For the first time, we considered booking a hotel, but there again, we were hesitant about the actual hotels, the costs involved, and the logistics of getting from the airport to the railway station and then back again from the station to the airport.  That’s when we remembered reading something about a corporate-managed lounge at Delhi station. We soon figured out that we could book online and pay by the hour. Besides, we also learnt that there wasn’t ju

The First Golu for this year...

After two posts of temples of the Goddess, it is time for some Bommai Kolus. The first one this year is from my mom's place in Thane....




A Bommai Kolu or Golu is an arrangement of dolls on steps during the nine days of the Navaratri festival. The steps represent the our aspiration  to attain oneness with the divine. The lower levels of the steps represent us - humans and our daily activities. The higher steps are for higher levels of divinity.. such as demi gods or scenes from the epics on the lower levels, and the main deities on the highest levels. 

The Golu in its entirety


The first step with people and household items

The Second Step - with Dakshinamurthy in the centre surrounded by the Dashavatars of Lord Vishnu, Ganesha,
Rama , and other Gods


The third step with different forms of Lord Vishnu - Venkateswara, Panduranga, and Krishna

The Fourth Step - with the 8 forms of Lakshmi - Ashta Lakshmi
The Fifth Step - with a beautiful idol of Krishna, the idols of Goddesses giving him company


The Kalash or Kalasam is the most important part of the golu. It is through the Kalasam that the goddess is invoked into our  attempt to replicate her creations

These steps are also a tribute or a reminder of the creations of the Devi, who is the mother of all humanity, and therefore, in many houses, you can also see some other arrangements.. either based on a story, or a theme, or maybe just a scene.... around the steps. This not only gives us an outlet for our creativity, but also involves the rest of the family in the celebrations, which usually involve mostly the women.

This year, my mother and aunt decided on a rural theme - showing the ancient methods of worship..


So, here is a village, (made with a bit of help from Samhith), at the foothills of a mountain, with a river, lake, and fields... And here and there you can see placards mentioning how people used to worship nature.. the mountain, the river, the trees, and fire. 


Here are some more dolls... placed around the room due to lack of space on the steps....


A cricket set


Assorted dolls

A North-Indian style wedding -
the bride and groom are handmade dolls, made by my aunt

And a South-Indian style one

vehicles galore

Manipuri Dancers - made by my aunt

An old couple with vessels to fill any house!

And some newer appliances too!
This is my favourite this year...

Originally dolls representing Gauri, which we buy for the Gauri Puja the day before Ganesh Chaturthi, here are some in a row, with a lamp in front of each!
And this, according to me, is the best exhibit this year... an old image of Lord Venkateswara printed on cloth has been given a new lease of life by my aunt, embellished with stones and sequins! 


This photo doesn't really do justice to the beautiful work of art. If you want a better look, go, visit them!

Comments

  1. Beautiful! I am reminded of my childhood days when we lived in a colony and we kids used to visit all houses to see kolu and eat sundal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pradeepa! I missed all that when I was a kid, because when I was a kid, we were the only south indians in the whole colony!!! besides, we couldnt keep the golu then :( now i am making up for it!!

      Delete
  2. Fantastic. Fortunately this year I am at Chennai during these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks PNS!!! wow, you are in chennai! looking forward to seeing navaratri in chennai thru ur eyes!

      Delete
  3. Beautiful....though we don't celebrate this festival...I enjoy this a lot

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lovely traditional Golu

    I am sure the vehicles are part of Samhith's collection?!

    Your pictures are truly gorgeous

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sowmya.. only a couple of them are his... my mom and aunt have a huge collection of their own!!!

      Delete
  5. This what I was searching..Good one...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chitra... we didnt have the golu this year, so fewer posts too.. as Samhith said, if we do the puja, the goddess gives us the energy to do everything.. this year we didnt really have the energy to go roaming around either :(

      Delete

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