Bappa Moriya!

Lalbagcha Raja (The King of Lalbaug) is one of the most famous Sarvajanik Ganapatis from Lalbaug, Mumbai, which is set up during Ganesh Chaturthi. Known as a Navsacha Ganpati (the one who has the ability to fulfill all wishes”), the idol is open to visitors for 10 days; and it is then immersed in water…

Golu

Like I mentioned in my earlier post, this is my first golu in my new den, and it is tiny by most standards. Since I needed to have odd-numbered steps, three was the starting point. My mother says, the golu needs to grow each year with new dolls getting added to the list. Step one…

Ram Leela

Ram Leela is a folk play that shows parts of Lord Rama’s life. The climax of the play ends with the legendary war between Good and Evil, Dussehra where effigies of King Ravana are burnt, typically with fireworks. Ram Leela is a part of Dusshera celebrations in North India, and typlically based on the 16th…

Sharada Navratri

Sharada Navratri, the last of the four navaratis that celebrates the change in seasons in India, is associated with the nine forms of Shakti. One the 10th day (Vijayadashami), Goddess Durga is said to have killed demon Mahishasura (hence, she is named Mahishasuramardini) celebrating the victory of good over evil. Another version has lord Rama killing Ravana, angain…

Dahi Handi

At Vrindavan, Krishna was a very naughty child, and his love for makhan (white butter), curds and milk was well known. Vrindavan’s women would tie freshly-churned butter at a height out of Krishna’s reach. But Krishna and his friends would form human pyramid and steal their goodies anyway. This dahi handi ritual has come to…

Marriages Made in Heaven

I enjoy the Durga Navratri, probably my second favorite festival after Diwali (that’s when I was born :-)). For nine nights, which culminates with Vijayadashami, we worship nine forms of shakti (Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati), who brings to us wisdom, fertility and strength. I have a smallish traditional golu setting this year. The lowest step celebrates…

Rass Leela

Rass Leela a dance which is attributed to Krishna, Radha and the other Gopis. It is further believed that Kathak evolved from the ‘Rass Leela of Braj and Manipuri Classical Dance’ and is often considered as the “Dance of Divine Love”. The story goes like this. One night, the Gopis in Vrindavan, hear Krishna’s flute…

Mysuru Dasara

As the cultural center of Karnataka, the Mysuru Dasara procession is a major tourist attraction. In fact, the city becomes a cultural focal point, as the 10-day festival brings the best of the state’s performers in one city. It reminds me of the Kala Ghoda Festival from back home in Bombay. Apart from the Golu…

Peak of Glory

The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance. ~Benjamin Franklin

Soul Food

Home made food, the way my mother makes it, is probably the best thing in the world. While I do cook quite decently, I am surely not a chip off the old block. I tend to cook better when I have someone to feed, and as I start loving myself more, I most certainly like…