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Book Review: On Philosophising, Philosophers, Philosophy and New Vistas in Applied Philosophy, by Dr. Sharmila Jayant Virkar

A little bit of context before you begin reading this book review. I have recently enrolled for an MA in Philosophy at the University of Mumbai. Philosophy is something I have been getting interested in, over the past few years, as those of you who have been reading my blogs and Instagram posts would know. During the pandemic, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do next, and this is what I eventually came up with. It has been a challenge, getting back into academics as a student at this age, especially in a subject I have no academic background in. However, it has also been very exciting, especially thanks to my wonderful classmates (who, surprisingly, are of all age-groups, including some quite near my own) and my teachers, who have been very supportive and understanding. How well I will do is something that remains to be seen, but so far, I am enjoying this new journey and look forward to where it leads. Now that you know the background , you probably get an idea of how

Navaratri 2015 : North, South, East and West - All at home in Chembur

Happy Vijayadasami / Dusshera / Dasara everyone!!! 

It has been an eventful Navaratri, starting with the creative satisfaction of setting up our own Kolu after years, to visiting friends and relatives, and of course, temples. The festival winds up today, and as we celebrate the destruction of evil, let me give you a glimpse of the different celebrations I have been able to attend - all within a short distance of my home!





Let me begin with the Mariamman temple in our colony. Mariamman is a form of the goddess worshipped all over Tamil Nadu. Every small village will have a shrine dedicated to her. She is a form of Parvati, of Durga, and Kali. She is mother nature, who bestows us with everything we need, but she also needs to be worshipped so that she doesnt show us her darker side, of drought, famine, or flood. Here she is, all decorated for the evening puja...



The temple also has an elaborate Kolu, and here it is.... 



And here is a closer look at some of the dolls in the kolu...

Ganesha as Ardhanareeshwara! 

Ganesha again, seated on the crescent moon, with Lakshmi and Saraswati on either side



Lakshmi-Hayagriva, and Hayagriva
That was the typical South Indian Navaratri celebration.

Heading over to Gandhi Maidan, the North Indian celebration of Ramleela is in full swing every evening. Here is Ravan, all set to be burnt in the grand finale, tonight! 





A little further along the same road is a simple, yet beautiful Durga, a typically Maharashtrian celebration. We, are in the western part of the country after all! 




Finally, a short walk away is the Bengali Durga Puja, something we look forward to, every year. This year, they have replicated the Mumbai Municipal Corporation building...







and inside, here she is....





Women apply Sindur to Her, as well as to each other, a celebration called Sindur Khela. 

And this is why I love festivals... for the sheer variety we see around us, and yet, they are all, intrinsically, the same. All celebrate the triumph of good over evil. 

In the present day, evil isn't as apparent, as obvious, as our myths tell us, or as these rituals depict them. There is no Mahishasura, showing himself as a demon, or a Ravana, with his ten heads. Evil is no longer in appearance, but in thought, and exists within all of us. This Dusshera, as we burn effigies of Ravana, sing songs of the triumph of the goddess, let us pray to the Lord to destroy our negative thoughts and make us more tolerant, for it is in tolerance that lies lasting peace. 



Comments

  1. Wise words about negativity and tolerance, Anu! I only hope that others come to realize the same thing.

    I am glad that you got so much enjoyment from Navaratri this year, and shared all the wonderful displays, both personal and public, with us so that we could enjoy them too.

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