Amish Tripathi Stories – A Review

We, the readers, are constantly on lookout for new authors. With the Bookstagrammers or the book Instagrammers, Kindle recommendations and Twitter, the task has become very easy with plethora of options in the last few years. Earlier we had to rely on few book reviews in newspapers or magazines, recommendations from friends and one's own... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

The 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... Continue Reading →

Mahalaya Ritual

It is an annual ritual in our house to get up early on Mahalaya morning and listen to Mahisasuramardini. The tradition started probably with my maternal Grandmother who was a devotee of Goddess Durga and lived in Patna surrounded by Bengali households, and it continued even when she moved to Banaras and then with my mother... Continue Reading →

Breaking bread together

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 -... Continue Reading →

Rāmā Kātha – the Rāmāyana story

During my final exams for Masters, Banaras Hindu University hosted a festival of Rāmāyana from other South-east Asian countries; everyday in the evening one country or the other presented a retelling of their version of the story in dance drama format. That was my first initiation to various versions of the epic Rāmāyana - the... Continue Reading →

Our 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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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