Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Memories of bangs and scares.....

I have been tagged by Sujata  and the rules of the photo tag are:
1. Open your first photo folder.
2. Scroll to the 10th photo.
3. Post the photo on your blog and tell the story behind it and
4. Tag people to do the same.

So here is mine…….




This one is certainly not one of my better shots, and the only excuse I can offer is that I was just learning to use my new digital camera. My sister-in-law had come to Bombay for Diwali and we had headed off to Shirdi for the Diwali holidays. All of us wanted a break and a proper vacation, something which Shirdi does not offer, and decided to head to Bordi…..you can read about our trip here.

Anyway, there we were, on Diwali…….. on a beach drier than anything we had ever seen, and Sandhya and Shankar headed off to find fire crackers. Samhith was thrilled at the idea, but once we began, he was so scared that he refused to participate, and huddled behind us in fear!!! I am not too fond of crackers either, and I occupied myself taking photos of Shankar trying to induce Samhith to set off at least one cracker while the others enjoyed themselves……..


Of course, that was two years back…. Today, it’s another story with Samhith looking forward to lighting crackers by himself this year!!!! Of course, none of us like the ones which make a big bang, and enjoy setting off only the simple ones like flowerpots and Bhoomi chakras….

Now, here’s the part where I get to read about others’ memories……

I tag T&S , Lakshmi, Sankara, Aaarti,Patricia and Srivats….

Looking forward to reading your posts…..


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vijaya Dasami 2009

After the nine nights and days of navaratri, the festival culminated with Dusshera, or Vijaya Dashami. For us, the highlight of the day was our visit to the Fine Arts Society, Chembur for Guru Vandana and Vidyarambham – where we pay our respects to our teacher and begin a new year of musical education, or rather, Samhith does, progressing from the junior music level to senior this year…..

I complete this series of festival blogs with my photographs of the Fine Arts Kolu, one of the best in this area….

Here is the main Kolu..






This is the side decoration – this time, Tirupati, with a cave underneath…. I couldn’t get more details about this since everyone was tied up with the Vijaya Dashami celebrations…..

















Here are some detailed shots of the dolls….






















Well, thats all for this year, folks.... Shall be back with something new... till, then, keep reading my blog and suggest topics for me to write about!!!!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Navaratri 2009 - the last two days - Ashtami and Navami






The last two days of navaratri have been as hectic as the first……. I have tried to visit all my relatives, and return in time to be home to receive those who come to my house, and it has been a race against time, with my wishing for a few more hours each day.

However, I have some interesting kolus for you today.

The first is the one at the Marubai Gavdevi Mandir, Wadala. I have heard of this one for years from my aunt who visits it every year, and this year, I decided that I just had to visit the temple. The golu is not too huge, just 5 steps, but beautiful, with some old and wonderful dolls… Take a look…












Look at the Ganesha holding the lingam – an unusual doll…




The Dashavataram set is beautiful, with great detailing, but the Vamanavatar one is missing…..




Samhith was fascinated by the fruits and vegetables, especially the tiny ones….
















Now here’s a Kolu of one of our neighbours – they are an old couple who still take the pains to make a side decoration. This is one house I take Samhith to, every year, no matter what! This year, they have made Kedarnath and Badrinath.







One of their grandsons has brought all those plastic trees and plants from the US, and Samhith wants some!!! He now has wonderful ideas for a hill scene next year, and says we can make it even better!!!

At the temple, the theme, being Ashtami, was Mahishasura Mardhini……. While we loved the decoration, Samhith was curious to know why the Devi wasn’t shown killing Mahishasura. He said they looked very friendly together, something which brought smiles to the faces of all those around, including the vadhyar who had made the decoration!!!!




Navami began with me performing the Saraswati Puja at home. Here is my arrangement, the photograph of Saraswati kept on top of books (which are covered by the cloth).




We then hurried to visit some more relatives, our last such trip for the year….

The first house we visited was Shankar’s uncle and aunt’s at Vashi. While they had kept a small Kolu this year, the highlight was a beautiful set of dolls depicting the Brahmotsavam at Tirupati.. …….




Here is Samhith with them….




The next stop was another uncle’s place, this time at Chembur, and here is their kolu…..




I especially love this set of dolls….





Our final visit was to another of our relatives’ place at Chembur, who keep a beautiful Kolu with some beautiful dolls…..













Here is another Kolu that I have been seeing everyday – one of our neighbours’ – and have finally photographed… all their dolls are old ones, and you can clearly see why we think they are special……









that one's Nala and Damayanti....











And finally, at the temple, the decoration was Saraswati…..





The nine days and nights of the festival are through, and so are we with our socializing. Tomorrow all the toys will be taken out and returned to their trunk, where they will hide till next year (hopefully) to emerge for another round of celebration.

The 10th day is still here, though, to be celebrated, and I shall be back with my last post on this festival…..


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Navaratri 2009 - Days 6 and 7

Shashti and Saptami passed by, as if in a dream, for it was full of visits. Samhith was thrilled with everyone coming home and appreciating our work.

The sixth day being Shashti, a special day for Karthikeya, the temple decoration was Skanda Matha – the mother of Karthikeya, who is also known as Skandha…. She is depicted here as giving her son the Vel – the spear – with which he proceeds to destroy the asuras Surapadman, Tarakasuran and Simhamukhan.




Saptami was on Friday and I had invited a whole lot of people home that day, Friday being an especially important day for the Devi. To welcome people home, I made a new Kolam to replace the earlier one. Here it is…….




At the temple, the decoration was of the Devi as Sakhambari – covered with vegetables.





According to the Devi Mahatmayam, there was once a terrible famine, and the rishis prayed to the Devi for deliverance. In her compassion, she produced grains, vegetables and fruits from her own body to sustain the word during this terrible phase. It is then that she came to be known as Sakhambari. Usually, in all Devi temples, she is represented in this form at least once during the ten days praying that she will sustain us with abundant food for the whole year.






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