Wednesday, October 22, 2014


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This is a festival which always inspires me to celebrate it in a traditional way as was done in my parents house. Though to bring back that enthusiasm and religious fervour is impossible in the changed life styles, still I do my bit to continue with some practices which give me loads of pleasure and some satisfaction. I'm referring to lighting clay diyas. 

 Today  morning I religously prepared the wicks from the cotton puffs by placing a small piece on my left palm and twisting it patiently into wick shape with the palm of the other. A technique which my dear mother taught me in those heavenly days. I then set the wicks in the diyas and poured mustard oil very carefully to avoid spillage.  Come evening I'll place them at points where the wind won't affect them.

Most part of yesterday was spent by two of us, (who feel more young than, when we were really young) in arranging  multi- colored fancy strings of tiny electric bulbs on the parapet of the roof. We avoid  calling  those ill behaved urchins to do the job. BOTH of us enjoy the personal touch which we imbibe into the activity.

A visit to the Gurudwara to light the candles and offer prayers in  the evening together with visiting a couple of neighbors constitute the evening jobs. Back home to switch on the lights, light the candles and diyas  and soak in the festive spirit while twinkling lights overhead play a game of intriguing shadows around us. Before the neighborhood youth, start exploding deafening bombs and crackers, we come inside. we believe in  enjoying the Green Diwali and exhort others to do the same. 

 At last, there is  time for some indulgences, without which this special festival is incomplete. A free run to our taste buds with our favourite home made delicacies and some sweets from the market  complete the merriments of our little world. The well lighted house is ready to receive the goddess of wealth!

Lots of love and blessings to all !!!

Monday, October 20, 2014



India is a colorful country. One encounters novel situations at every step. It has uncertainties galore. On rare occasions there are unexpected 'good luck' moments, too. When one steps out, one braces up with a prayer on the lips to be able to face any challenge.  

In such a diverse country like ours, one wonders at the entrepreneurial skills of even completely uneducated people  living in one room tenements.

Last week I happen to visit an open air market which is a cheap replica of 'Flea Markets' in the West.  Mostly operating on weekends.  This one is held in a large open ground in the midst of a thickly populated area, on every Saturday. The said  ground is divided into three parts. One for vegetables and fruits, the second for hot snacks, cooked on the top of hand driven carts with gas cylinder tucked under the cart. The third one near the road displays the ready-made stuff for the whole family (the picture above).The garments on display are of cheap quality but the manufacturers have mastered the art of copying the designs of  famous brands. The children of lower middle class families wear these clothes, and from a distance they look no different from a child belonging to an upper economic class.

 IN FACT there is a textile revolution in India. Dresses which last long are available at unbelievably cheap rates. Most of the people barring very poor, can afford to buy them and they look like new after every wash.  Apart from that, shoes, bedsheets, towels and a lot more stuff is always up for sale.

Friends, welcome here as always!


Thursday, October 16, 2014


Since, I've come back from hills to my home town  in the   plains,  about three weeks ago, what we saw was lifeless, hazy, pale blue sky.  However, in the beginning of the week there were welcome, but unexpected showers, which brought relief from the prolonged heat spell. I'd an enjoyable walk in my favorite park. Here is the image of the skyline above the various plants in the park on  the morning of that day.  

Friends,Welcome here!



We had  state elections in two states- Haryana and Maharashtra on 15th October. Voters in  large numbers thronged the polling booths to cast their votes, to elect representatives for the Legistative Assemblies of their respective states. The people  enthusiastically participated in the process of election. The picture shows the  women voters in a village of Haryana, waiting outside a polling  booth for their turn to cast  vote. 

Why I posted this picture to share with you is to show  the diversity and plurality of Indian cultural traditions, which are rooted in the collective consciousness of people.   It was surprising to see  young women smartly clad in their colorful embroidered dresses, but covering their faces with long veils. Even I was unaware that women in Haryana villages, still follow this age old regressive custom of veiling their faces from the village elders. It seems so incongruous in modern India which is surging ahead in almost every field.

Where is women empowerment here? What is intriguing is why these young women are conforming to the cruel diktats of the old men folks, who should be respected but not allowed to exercise authority on issues which lower women's dignity. It appears that Haryana which evidently is a progressive state, has  a long way to go before they are able to quell the inclinations towards gender bias.  Punjab the state I belong to, has overcome this long back.

Image courtesy: The Tribune

Friends, welcome here as always!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014



"HAPPY" (Smiles, Faces, Laughter, Humorous Things,...)


I failed to find spontaneous laughter or happiness in my vicinity during the week, which would inspire me to click for the theme.  However when I stepped out for a short walk to the park, armed with my camera, I was confident that I'd be sure to encounter something in a supremely happy mood. Believe me, when I noticed this beautiful squirrel happily basking in the mild sunshine  on a cool October morning, I crossed my fingers.  I tiptoed noiselessly and luckily could capture her in this  unusual pose of hers.The next moment she raced away.

Friends, welcome here!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


N is for Nature

Contemplating about life, environment and nature’s unique manifestations in a fresh narrative is an interesting and challenging intellectual exercise. When the inspiration emanates from ABC Wednesday’s next letter theme, it becomes more special. This week, I’ve chosen the vast reservoir of mother nature vis a vis our everyday life, to write a critique upon. It is a subject, which keeps afloat the subtle sense of wonder in my receptive psyche. The cyclic aspect of natural phenomenon is inextricably linked to the structure of our lives on this earth. Moreover, the very consciousness of this thought makes it worth writing about.

Think of the arrival of spring.  It’s symbolic of the revival of hope, beauty and well-being in the larger context of our lives. All living organisms breathe the glamor of the season and grow. When spring‘s verdure spreads its magical wings, it overlooks our inadequacies and invites us to join in the rejoicing. Its abundant profile shrouds warts and all under its lush green shawl, presenting an image of idyllic splendor. All the eyesores of winter are dressed up in the glow and glory of glistening freshness of new leaves, out to conquer the world with its renewed energy and colorful appeal.

Likewise, we too are infected with the innocent smiles of leisurely opening rose petals and resurgent plant life. The joy of being alive amidst such charm and loveliness loosens the wintry stiffness of the limbs, while injecting the sap of vitality. We strut about with a streak of confidence and assume a sort of amnesia about the issues that plagued us during winter. The glorious spring inspires us to reach our goals as the barrenness of the winter has been morphed into flower and fertility. Our lives turn around, projecting a beefed up enthusiasm for concreting our dreams. Depression and despair take to their heels in the face of childlike excitement of moving around gleaming greenery.

The rainy season soaks the parched earth of sweltering summers with the lifesaving tonic of blissful showers. Flora and fauna rejuvenate after weathering the stifling heat. Monsoon rains replenish the drying water bodies; wash the dust and grime of summer’s dusty storms and serve as a boon for the farmers of our lands. In the freshly washed atmosphere, the sky looks luminous and surreal at night. Glowworms with their peculiar twinkle warm our hearts and make us wonder at the spontaneity of this change. The artists in all fields set about finishing their products with renewed zeal.

Winter has its own distinctive character in India.We bask in the golden sunshine and savor healthy sweet meets loaded with nuts and dry herbs to strengthen our immunity. Availability of plenty of fresh vegetables is an added attraction.

Autumn in the West is a season of shimmering colors and festivities. The charm of flaming red orange and brown foliage leaves one speechless.

Nature is a teacher, pious and all encompassing. The conscious mind drinks deep the luxuriance of its very presence. Even for the uninitiated, absorbed in the throes of life’s constant battles, it soothes his journey by throwing joyfully free interjections from time to time. Nature doesn’t discriminate and gifts its wares betwixt one and all equally.

For thousands of years, nature has been man’s never failing ally. It is indefatigable in its approach of persistently greeting us smilingly.  It has steadiness, which is rock solid. It provides us a reason to live. It has a charm, which is disarming. It keeps us rooted to the ground. It teaches us the sense of wonder. It is a preserver of life. Birds of all types and hues, sprightly squirrels and hordes of living organisms thrive in its protective fold.

Negativity has no place in its scheme of things. It never grumbles or shows furrows of contempt on its visage. It never throws innuendos and invectives to score fake points. It doesn’t intimidate. It never gnaws our insides with faceless fears. Lip service is never on its agenda.  Miraculous benefits, which accrue from this interface, reinforce our resolves.

Taking lessons from the resilience of mother earth and brushing aside the irritants and hurdles, we're motivated to surge ahead on the road of life. Our ancestors must have been unknowingly enthused by the proximity to nature to face the dark dangers of their tough existence. Their relatedness to nature must have boosted their spirits into pro activity. Perhaps this is how our ancestors survived and kept climbing the steps of the ladder of progress and innovation.   

Changes in nature and natural phenomenon run parallel to our enigmatic sojourn here.

Friends, welcome here as always!

Monday, October 13, 2014


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It was by chance that I spotted this gorgeous threesome of pigeons on the roof a neighbor's house, across the road. Absorbed in the cleaning routine of their bodies, it was a sight to notice the 'mindfulness' of their act.The first one had already finished the ritual before I spied them. It seems to be in the praying position of complete relaxation.  The other two are pecking vigorously their bodies from all angles and straining their necks to reach the farthest point. The middle one appears to be in that extreme act. An amateurish bird circus of sorts!

Friends,welcome here as always!