Shiva Shiva …

Shiva

Amish Tripathi calls him "Dude of the Gods". Others call him by various names - 1008 names to be precise - Bholenath, Mahadev, Shankar, Shambhu, Rudra, Neelkanth, Nataraja or Shiva are some of the more popular ones. He is a paradox - as a destroyer and a benefactor, as an ascetic as well as a…

The Tirangi Barfi of Banaras

Tirangi Barfi of Banaras

The fight for Indian Independence was fought at many levels - from the boycott of foreign made clothes, to making salt and by making statement through food. And Banaras (Varanasi) led the way by creating special mithai (sweets) during the Independence movement. The commonly known Tirangi Barfi (tri-colour sweet) was an Independence Day and Republic…

Breaking bread together

iftar party

An iftar invitation had remained elusive till now - this last week of the holy month I attended my first iftar party. Last weekend amidst thunderous showers a family in Noida with a group of ladies hosted an inter-faith iftar party. The group consisting of Rana Safvi - an author and  historian, Nazia Erum -…

Our Holi lunch

Holi lunch of Banaras

Festivals in India are closely linked with food especially in UP households where there is different menu for each festival. Even though Punjabis, since we lived in Banaras our food habits have been influenced by UP-Bihar traditions and some from the home rituals followed by my Grandmother. Holi as a festival transcends between summer and…

Khele mashane mein Holi

Holi across the world is largely associated with Krishna, and people flock to Brijbhoomi to witness the festivities. Even the songs or paintings that celebrate this colourful festival centers around this playful God. But in the city of Shiva - Banaras (Kashi or Varanasi), Rangbhari Ekadashi marks the beginning of the festival six days before…

Discovering India

I have been wanting to read Jawahar Lal Nehru's Discovery of India for some time now, the reasons are many including the need to remind myself of India's history which is hazy in my mind now. I have also been wanting to read on India - its culture and traditions, people, it's impact on the world and…

We, the People of India

Indian Constitution

A couple of days ago India celebrated its Constitution Day - the day when Indian Constitution was adopted by constituent assemble paving the way for becoming a Republic and for holding the first general elections of the country. India having gained Independence quite late in the timeline of many other democratic countries could take advantage…

Story of India

Immortal India by Amish Tripathi

I have read all of Amish Tripathi's books and have heard him speak couple of times. So when he announced the release of his new non-fiction book Immortal India, I was very excited as I am fascinated by Indology. But I have figured that I am a tsunduko, my to-be-read list is always longer than…

Dear Judiciary – Thank You

In last one week Twitter has lauded two major judgements by Supreme Court of India and one by High Court and thereby redeeming judicial independence from polity. In the 70th year of Independence, the abolition of Triple-Talaq, reaffirming Right to Privacy of individuals - while are good decisions, one does wonder why it took so…

The cacophony of Indian bazaars

Before the air-conditioned malls there were markets, and before these sanitised ubiquitous Galleria/ Defence Colony/ Khan Markets of Indian cities there were traditional Indian bazaars. Some of these bazaars were static in a smaller locality like Vishwanath Gali in Varanasi or Indira Market of Noida and some were moving bazaars called haats which travelled to…

Ganga – a new perspective 

It was an exhibition on Ganga - the living river at National Museum. Titled Ganga : River of Life & Eternity; this was not just paintings and sculptures on Ganga but a story-telling arty narrative. While I have been familiar with lot of myths and stories around Ganga, it was the coming together of different…

Celebrating the Goddess Within

Today and yesterday, in almost all Hindu households girl child is worshipped as Kanjak. An even bigger irony is that these very households curb the independent thinking, behaviour and movement of these girls as they grow into women. As a daughter, sister,  wife and then mother the society shackles them in the disguise of tradition…