Onam Ashamsakal

I feel privileged to be born and raised with a very cultural diverse background. My parents were born in two different ends of Tamil Nadu, my father’s ancestral village is on the border of Kerala. I am Bombay-bred, and grew up with people from all walks, cultures and ethnicity of the world. Being an agrarian…

Holi Hai!

I must admit, Holi isn’t my favorite festivals in the world. It’s messy and uncomfortable, to say the least. But for some strange reason, I miss being home this year for the slush fest. I miss being with crazy buddies, especially when it’s time to celebrate. Where I now live, celebrations are a very private…

Lit Up

“There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.” ~ Bram Stoker, Dracula

Prosperity

Sometimes we may ask God for success, and He gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy…

Diwali Palaharam

  Across the country, and because of brain drain, the world in general, Indians are busy celebrating Diwali. I personally love Diwali-the festival of lights, because it also marks my own birth in the world. Imagine what a lovely time to be born, when e world lit up to drown the darkness! Anyway, we celebrate…

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…

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…