First of all I want to apologize for being absent on your blogs’ comment sections and not replying to your comments on mine. I have been really busy in studying and thesis work and will remain so for some more time. But I had to write a blog post to keep this blog alive, right? :) Also you must know when I come back I will read each and every unread post and comment :) So please bear with me till then.
As I mentioned in my last post, D and I had gone to Kolkata in December 2010. During our stay there, we went on two trips – a one day trip in Kolkata only and a 3 day trip to Digha beach which is the most popular weekend destination for Calcuttans.
On the tableland in Panchgani , there are these markings which are supposed to be the footprints of the Pandavas when they were on exile. As seen in the photo and as prevalent in India, a plate has been kept and flowers strewn to make the place get some monetary offerings.
Seriously why on earth would anyone climb so high to live during exile?
P.S. Seeing the response and to keep this blog alive, I have decided to post photos here too once a week.
There are several ways and mediums of expressing the faith in the Almighty. Temples are also one of these mediums. Several events are organized at temples for mass expression of faith. Such a religious event – Satsang – was held at the temple near my home for ten days. The organizers of this satsang were utilizing the power of loudspeaker to the maximum. The session timings were 8 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 10 pm. Though the timings were within the norms, the decibel level of the loudspeaker was not. The norms say :-
A professor in my college had been in a terrible car accident last year and his wife had died on the spot. He has a 10 year old son and a 14 year old daughter. Few days back I came to know that he had remarried after six months. I exclaimed “In just six months??” My colleague who gave the news justified that sir by saying “He has two small kids,madam”. I thought to myself “then he should have got a nanny, not a wife!!”
This is the final post of the “Fun time of year” series. So Maa Durga’s visit to her parents is over and she has headed back to her home. My 3 days holidays are over and sadly I didn’t even start grading the answer sheets. But no regrets as I have a weekend ahead. :) So here is my post as a summary of Durga Pujo 2008. First I would like to share a wonderful video I found on You tube with same title as my post.
So while a friend is giving test at work, another is slogging hard with his female colleagues, another doesn’t even have a holiday on Dusshera and rest of you being equally busy, I’m enjoying today the first day of my 3 days holidays i.e. Mahaashtami, Mahanavami and Vijayadashmi. I’d said in my part 1 post that I have yet to do the shopping. So finally I was able to prepare for Durga Puja by buying 3 dresses and 1 pair of shoes. I’d also said that my next photos will be those taken from my new digital camera. After much brainstorming with my sister and bugging her and to a much lesser extent Suda and Sakhi too, I finally bought my first digital camera. Yippeeee! Presenting Sony Cybershot DSC W170 :-
So its that time of year again. The time when my Dad uncovers the cassette player and digs out two cassettes of devotional songs in Bengali from the pile of cassettes which are now ignored in today’s world of Winamp and Channel V. He plays them every year on the first day of this time of year at an unholy hour of 7.00 am that too quite loudly. And we know by listening to “Mahishashur Mardini” that its Mahalaya i.e. the beginning of Durga Puja that day. You can listen to some songs at this link here.
Mahalaya is an auspicious occasion observed seven days before the Durga Puja, and heralds the advent of Durga, the goddess of supreme power. It’s a kind of invocation or invitation to the mother goddess to descend on earth – “Jago Tumi Jago”. This is done through the chanting of mantras and singing devotional songs. Since the early 1930s, Mahalaya has come to associate itself with an early morning radio program called “Mahisasura Mardini” or “The Annihilation of the Demon.” This All India Radio (AIR) program is a beautiful audio montage of recitation from the scriptural verses of “Chandi Kavya”, Bengali devotional songs, classical music and a dash of acoustic melodrama. The program has also been translated into Hindi set to similar orchestration and is broadcast at the same time for a pan-Indian audience. This program has almost become synonymous with Mahalaya. For nearly six decades now, the whole of Bengal rises up in the chilly pre dawn hours, 4 am to be precise, of the Mahalaya day to tune in to the “Mahisasura Mardini” broadcast.
Before expressing my personal opinion, I want to share a news item. I don’t know how many national dailies featured this news. But it is this news that inspired me to write this post.
Mon, Sep 8 2008 :- Christian organizations have demanded action against activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal who misbehaved with two nuns at the Durg station on Friday. The two nuns, carrying three babies with them, were on their way to Bhopal on the Chhattisgarh Express when the activists forced them to get off the train at the station. The nuns, of the Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity, were handed over to the railway police when they refused to answer questions on the babies. Later, the nuns told the railway police that they are carrying the babies after taking consent from their parents. The parents were very poor and could not take care of the infants properly, the nuns told the police. The babies were being taken to an ashram for children in Bhopal. Christian organisations have conveyed their dissent to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and have demanded action against the VHP, Bajrang Dal activists.
Please read the more detailed news here. Somehow there is no update available in local newspapers since that day.
Yesterday Vishwakarma Puja was celebrated in my Department of Electrical Engineering. Lord Vishwakarma is a Hindu deity known as the divine engineer and architect in Hinduism.
Hindu mythology is full of Vishwakarma’s many architectural wonders. Through the four ‘yugas’, he had built several towns and palaces for the gods. In “Satya yuga”, he built the Swarg Loke, or heaven, the abode of the gods and demigods where Lord Indra rules. Vishwakarma then built the ‘Sone ki Lanka’ in “Treta yuga”, the city of Dwarka in “Dwapar yuga”, and Hastinapur and Indraprastha in the “Kali yuga”.
Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated on Kanya Sankranti day which comes after Ganeshotsav. All engineering and architectural community celebrate this day and worship Him. Craftsmen worship their tools in His name. He is supposed to provide excellence and quality in work and blessing for proper working of machinery and tools. Though the festival is mainly celebrated in factories and industries with much grandeur, we have the tradition of celebrating it in our engineering college’s laboratories and workshop also. Here is a photo feature of the whole event. Place the mouse on the photos to read the captions.
Before you read this post I must repeat my disclaimer that this is entirely my point of view and it may offend conservatives and orthodoxly religious people. Rest are mature enough to understand what I’m trying to say. India is a land of festivals and all of them centered around some god/goddess or other. Today is Ganesh Chaturthi which marks the beginning of Lord Ganesh‘s festival of 10 days. Yesterday students had come to us lecturers, as they do each year, for monetary contribution to the festival. All of us contributed. But if it had been for Bihar Flood Relief Aid, most people would have been suspicious and hesitant to give money because they know their politicians and officials. But still my point is that our institution or the students didn’t even try to raise a fund for the aid, whereas they are ever eager to collect money and celebrate yet another religious festival. The question in my mind is what is the point of religion?
“Haj subsidy must be cancelled. No flights for Haj should be sent as it is wastage of precious fuel the cost of which has to be borne from the taxpayers,” VHP general secretary Pravin Togadia told reporters.
They also demand that the cancellation order of land transfer be revoked by the government. This is what happens when you mix politics and religion. Its the most harmful cocktail one could think of. Now, I think
So now I know how the world is going to end. It will be annihilated by the commencement of World War III. How did I reach to this conclusion? Read on.
There was a bomb blast in Thane, Mumbai on June 4 2008. Some more bombs were recovered live from other places. Two Hindu extremists have been arrested for the same. Supposedly they belong to some Hindu organizations called Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and Sanatan Sansthan. Read the whole news here. Now after this happened, the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna ran an editorial in which Mr.BT (the editor) advocated “build-up of Hindu response to counter the ‘growing Islamic terrorism’ in the country while ridiculing members of a Hindu fundamentalist organisation held for low-intensity bomb blasts in Thane.” Of course it doesn’t matter that 7 people died (correction:injured) in the blast and my guess would be all of them were not Muslims. What is the problem if 7 die (correction:get injured) among 13 million population of Mumbai? Sacrifice must be made for the greater good, right? I guess this is the convoluted mentality of these people.
So Mr.BT has commended the creation of Hindu suicide squads as a tit for tat for Islamic outfits. I’vealready expressed my indignation over how irresponsibly leaders speak and behave. But this has crossed the limit. How can a leader in his sensible mind ask his people to form suicide groups for spreading violence? How can he ask them to sacrifice their lives and families to die for his absurd cause or rather I presume his personal vendetta? In today’s world how can a leader champion the cause of terrorism and blood for blood? Our Nation’s Bapu must be turning and tossing in his grave!! (yes, I know he was a Hindu) How can a leader encourage his people to take the law in their own hands?
I condemn such fundamentalist leaders of any country who show the path of violence and bloodshed to their people. Instead of waging wars why doesn’t he encourage people to form cleaning squads to keep Mumbai clean and water logging free?
According to Mr.BT these Hindu squads should go to Islamic countries and carry out bomb blasts there. I guess if this happens those countries will retaliate and US & EU will jump in too in the foray. Taking the opportunity China may attack India from other side. And thus World War 3.0 will ensue. And the world will come to an end.
On second thought, that might be a good thing. Everything will start anew after humans have wiped out each other. Sigh! A 6 yr old kid is wiser than a 80+ adult.