Holi Hai!!!

What a fun day, it is Holi day!! Yay. Yes, we are allowed to be mad, uninhibited, abandoned and joyful without being judged. Dance on streets, or splash colours on your angry neighbor, spray water on a stranger, roll in mud or just be crazy. Everything is ok because – Bura na mano Holi Hai!

(Images courtesy Google)

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Flashes of India in America

This Summer, coincidentally perhaps, I’m enjoying flashes of India in America! Last week, I marveled at this amazing poster at one of the leading home decor shops of America. There were exotic products from my country – bright, lively, vibrant – reminding me of street bazaars of New Delhi.

And today, Indian culture, heritage and food was celebrated at Downtown Minneapolis in an event called IndiaFest. It really felt like being in India there, with tantalizing aroma of Indian cuisine, classical dances and crafts. I even saw things I didn’t know about India.

(Story being conveyed through paintings- ancient form of storytelling)

At the fest, it was India everywhere. I felt proud that even the next-gen Indians participated and perfected classical dance moves.

It was fun strolling and reliving India in America. We met up with some friends, bought mouthwatering street food and had a wonderful day at IndiaFest.

If I see another flash of India, will let you know. To know about the festival, read here.

Stay well, friends!

(Some images courtesy Google)

White Holi!

While the vibrant spring festival, Holi is being celebrated with colours all over the world, we are having a different kind of Holi here in Minnesota (USA). Nature has chosen to shower us with snow today, making it a wonderful White Holi for us!

Earth has got covered up with a sheet of white.


A lone fitness enthusiast dared to venture out!

Snow, snow everywhere!


Footprints in the snow as pedestrians hurried by….


Trees huddled together, waiting for the arrival of spring! 

BTW, have a super duper, colourful Holi! 

Balloon Full of Colours for You!

  

Green teeth, yellow hair, red face and blue hands…anything can happen during the festival of colours – Holi. With the onset of Spring, this festival, brightens each and every corner of India with love, forgiveness and togetherness. Even, foreign countries have embraced this fun festival with open arms.

Holi always takes me back to my girlhood days. In those days, we had a large field in front of our house and my father would make arrangements for playing Holi with colours and water. We were a huge family of uncles, aunts, cousins as well as our staff. And we made sure no one stayed dry that day.

  
Since morning, soon after breakfast, we would start playing with coloured as well as mud water till late afternoon. And after having a delicious lunch, we would get dressed and play again with dry colours. We would also pay respect to our elders by colouring their feet in the evening. In return, we were given blessings and sweets followed by an elaborate dinner.

The tradition would bring us closer as one family unit. I had taken those days for granted and yearn to go back to Holi of the yore. Things have changed, times have changed, single families are emerging but vibrant and sweet Holi always remains the same. This festival always encourages community feeling and reunites family members.

  
Holi encourages to reach out to others with the colors of joy. It teaches to love and forgive. It teaches to avoid discrimination of any kind. It teaches to be comfortable with each other through pranks and jokes. It is an amazing festival!

This year will be a dry Holi for me here in America. But I will make sure my kids play a little and know all about it.

Meanwhile, wishing you a very happy, colouful and fantabulous Holi!

Images courtesy Google

Did you know Sri Rama had a sister?

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Yes, you read it right! Sri Rama had an elder sister Shanta (born of Dashratha and Kaushalya), who was given away for adoption to Kaushalya’s sister. To read in detail click here . There are a few other random facts I found out about Ramayana. I thought that since it is Dussehra time, the timing is just right to share!

For the benefit of non Hindus, let me first elaborate that the festival Dussehra is symbolic of victory of good over evil. Ramayana, the epic, written by sage Valmiki deals with the story and glory of Lord Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Rama had killed the very powerful demon king Ravana, who had abducted his wife Sita, on this day. Since then, Dussehra is celebrated across India.

But there are a few lesser known facts which many do not know. I would like to share a few interesting ones I came across:

1)During the exile period of Rama, Laxman and Sita, Laxman never slept. He is, hence, also called ‘Gudakesh’ meaning one who has ‘defeated sleep’.

2) Laxman’s wife Urmila slept both his and her share of sleep so that Laxmana could protect Rama and Sita. It is said that she slept for 14 years and woke up when her husband returned to Ayodhya.

3)  Vashishta, the guru of Raghukul dynasty named Ram. He explained that the name Rama is a powerful mantra. It is made up of two beeja aksharas(alphabetical seeds): Agni beeja(Ra) and Amrutha beeja(Ma). Agni beeja energises the soul, mind and body. Amrutha beeja reinvigorates the prana shakti(life force) in all the body.

4) After killing Bali by using deceit, Lord Rama promised that Bali would have his revenge in his next birth. Bali was reborn as Jara the hunter who killed Krishna – the next reincarnation of Lord Vishnu.

5) Ravan, the demon king with ten heads was killed at the eve of Dussehra. His ten heads symbolises the ten sins within us. They are:

  1. Kama vasana (Lust)
  2. Krodha (Anger)
  3. Moha (Attachment)
  4. Lobha (Greed)
  5. Mada (Over Pride)
  6. Matsara (Jealousy)
  7. Swartha (Selfishness)
  8. Anyaaya (Injustice)
  9. Amanavta (Cruelty)
  10. Ahankara (Ego).

Hope you liked these lesser known facts of Ramayana. Allow me to wish you a happy and prosperous Dussehra. Festivities have just started  my lovely friends and the great thing is – this will last till Diwali ( and in some parts of India till Chath puja).

Wishing you great fun and festivity ahead!!!

Image courtesy Google