Mon 1 Jun 2009, 16:42 PM | Posted by admin|
Tags: Art & Culture, Articles, News, Women
People from various walks of life, including ministers, elected representatives, cultural, literate and religious leaders paid homage to poetess and writer Kamala Suraya, when her mortal remains were brought to Kochi Airport today. The casket containing the body of Ms Suraya, which was brought to Kochi in an Air India Flight from Mumbai, was received by Kerala Fisharies Minister S Sarma and Revenue Minister K P Rajendran. Ms Suraya's son Monu Nalapatt, a journalist by profession, his wife Laxmi and Minister, M A Baby, had accompanied the body in the flight. Her another son Chinnan Das, who was also associated with media, and relatives had reached the airport to receive her body. The mortal remains were exhibited before the domestic terminal for the public to pay tributes. Mr Baby, Mr Sarma, Mr Rajendran and another minister Binoy Viswam, District Collectors M Beena and V K Baby, Kerala Sahithya Academy Secretary Purushan Kadalundi, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Secretary Prabhakaran Pazhasi and Kalamandalam Vice Chancellor, K G Poulose, were among others, who paid tributes to the departed soul.
INDIAVISION.Com Team Pays Home to the Great Poetess, that borns once in centuries.
Cultural Affairs Minister M A Baby today said the body of Malayalam poet Kamala Surayya, who passed away at a private hospital in Pune early this morning, would be cremated with full state-honours on June 2.
Talking to reporters here, he said the body would be cremated at the Palayam Juma Masjid here at 0800 hours on that day. Her family members said she would be cremated at the mosque as per her last wish.
He said the body would be brought to Nedumbassery tomorrow by flight and kept at Ernakulam, Thrissur, Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram for the public to pay last respects to the departed 'poet of Kerala'.
The body of Kamala Surrayya, who died in Pune early this morning, will reach Nedumbassery Airport at 8 am tomorrow morning. From there, the body will be taken to Thrissur and kept at the Sahitya Akademy Hall for the public to pay homage. It will be brought to Ernakulam and kept at the Town Hall till 1 pm for the people to pay homage. The body will reach Alappuzha and tributes can be paid till 3 pm.
The body will be kept at the VJT in the capital city the whole night tomorrow for the beloved ones to pay homage to the departed soul. On June 2, at 8 am, the body will be cremated at the Juma Masjid in Palayam.
Mon 2 Mar 2009, 13:45 PM | Posted by admin
Tags: Art & Culture
This festival is celebrated between 25th November and 5th December in Lucknow, the capital city of U.P. It captures the undying elegance and splendours of ancient city Awadh, now known as Lucknow. This festival celebrates Lucknow's living culture, which provides an insight into the old, cultured, atmosphere of the city. Colourful processions, traditional dramas, Kathak dances in the style of the famous Lucknow Gharana, Sarangi and sitar recitals along with ghazals, qawalis and thumri create a festive atmosphere. Exciting events like ekka races, kite flying, cock fighting and other traditional village games recreate an atmosphere of bygone Nawabi days. There is a display of crafts and one can have a taste of the famous Nawabi cuisine.
Mon 2 Mar 2009, 13:41 PM | Posted by admin
The annual Lucknow Festival showcasing Avadhi culture, tradition and cuisine started in Lucknow on the bank of River Gomti on November 25.
The 15-day festival, organised jointly by UP Tourism and Lucknow District Administration, will, this time, also have stalls by the craftsmen of other states presenting a composite culture of the entire country.
Besides providing a platform for the local talents, the festival will also have programmes by well-known personalities including Shovana Narayan, the Vadali brothers, Shubha Mudgal, Hansraj Hans, Pandit Jasraj, Hema Sardesai and Sapna Awasthi.
The Lucknow Festival, held in the months of November-December every year, captures the undying elegance and splendour of Awadh, now Lucknow. A brilliant showcase of the arts, crafts, and above all the exotic cuisine of this land, the festival is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
During the festival, the city of Lucknow is abuzz with excitement and activity. Colourful processions, traditional dramas, Kathak dances in the style of the famous Lucknow gharana, sarangi and sitar recitals along with ghazal, qawali and thumri sessions create a festive atmosphere. Exciting events such as ekka races, kite flying, cock fighting and other traditional village games recreate an atmosphere of Awadh's nawabi days.
And to top it all, one can taste the traditional delicacies of Lakhnawi cuisine, ranging from mouth-watering vegetarian cuisine to the lip-smacking non-vegetarian spread for which Lucknow is famous.
Tags: Art & Culture
Elephants are regarded precious and majestic since “puranic” era. The supremacy of Elephant is also well illustrated in the Hindu Mythology. According to legends, at the time of ‘Samudra Manthan’ when demon and Gods were busy in “churning the ocean”(samudra manthan), Gods were fortunate to receive an elephant called “Airavata” which latter became the divine vehicle (vahana) of Indra. Since then Elephant has become a symbol of royalty in Indian culture and many festivals are also associated with it.
Mon 2 Mar 2009, 13:35 PM | Posted by admin
Out of several festivals celebrated with elephants, the one which is widely participated by Indians and foreign tourists is the Elephant Festival celebrated in Jaipur during Holi in Phalgun (March/April). This is an annual event held at Jaipur Chagan Stadium where people gather in large crowds to celebrate the occasion with much pump and gaiety.
Jaipur Elephant Festival, perhaps the only festival where Elephants are given prime importance. Here, as you would expect from the name of the Festival – Elephants are the centre of attraction. During the festival, Jaipur comes alive with elephants, dancers and musicians which draw visitors from all over the world. The elephants stride majestic-experience for everybody by parading their decorated trunks and tusks. And the most noticeable feature of this festival is that all the Elephants which take part in this festival are female Elephants.
The Elephant Festival begins with a procession of elephants painted and tastefully attired with expensive gems and embroidered velvets, followed by folk dancers who with their lively performance along with the program of Dhaph and Gair dance which projects the spirit of Holi, all this together put the mark on this occasion. The elephants greet the visitors, offer garlands to the guests and walk past the ramp before a jury of experts and tourists who select the best amongst them for the "Best decorated Elephant" Shield.
Elephant races and polo matches are special features. The tug of war between elephants and men is probably the most hilarious highlight of the festival. The unique "Gaj Shringar" exhibition displays everything connected with the elephant-ornaments, textiles (Jhoo), howdahs and carriages, paintings, medicines and food.
The visitors have an opportunity to mount the elephants and play Holi or polo with them. Participants dance with great vigor – the excitement rises to a crescendo. Along with the Elephants there are lancers on horses, chariots, camels, cannons, palanquins, etc which takes part in the festival.
Several activities performed by the Elephants during Elephant Festival are :
Gaj Shringar : Where the ornaments, textiles,etc which are related to the Elephant are displayed.
Live Performances : Live performance of folk dancers with the programme of Daph and Gair dance which depicts the joy of Holi Festival.
Catwalks of Elephants : Here they walk pass the ramp in front of the guests for the shield of ‘Best decorated Elephant’.
Playing of Polo Matches : Dressed in saffron and red turbans, the teams try to score goals with long sticks and a plastic football.
Tug of War : The tug of War between Elephants and men is held which is very.
Playing Holi : The visitors take part to mount the elephants and play Holi. Therefore, the Mahouts take great privilege to decorate the Elephants on this particular occasion.
The Rajput kings, treated elephants with special enthusiasm as they not only during War times but also during royal festivities use the best which is Nishan-ka-hathi (the flag carrier) to lead the procession. After the procession, King selects one elephant who entertain with their fights and other games in front of the royal guests including famous personalities of the British era and Maharajas of Indian dynasties. Latter, the flag carrying elephant rides up to Amber Palace – this tradition is carried on till today!!
Tags: Art & Culture
Pongal is an important festival in India, with prayers to the Sun God on this occasion. Pongal is one of such highly revered festivals celebrated in Tamil Nadu to mark the harvesting of crops by farmers. The house is cleaned, and all maintenance jobs are done before this festival. Held in the middle of January, it is the time when the people get ready to thank God, Earth and their Cattle for the wonderful harvest and celebrate the occasion with joyous festivities and rituals. During the four-day festival, different varieties of Rangoli are drawn in front of the houses early in the morning.
Mon 2 Mar 2009, 13:32 PM | Posted by admin
In North India, it is known as Sankaranthi.
Meaning of Pongal
Pongal is a harvest festival - the Tamil equivalent of Thanksgiving. It is held to honor the Sun, for a bountiful harvest. Families gather to rejoice and share their joy and their harvests with others. The Sun is offered a "Pongal" of rice and milk.
Literally meaning "Boiling over", Pongal, signifies the advent of prosperity. Pongal is normally celebrated over a period of four days, starting on the 13th January. Since the calculation to determine the day is based on the solar calendar, the date doesn't change. It is considered a very auspicious occasion when the Sun transits the Capricorn sign. A rich and abundant harvest of paddy and other crops depend on the availability of good rain, as most of the rivers in Tamil Nadu are not perennial. Hence, there is the invocation of the Sun God and the God of Rain at the time of Pongal.
The period is referred to as Uttarayan Punyakalam and is considered auspicious. Legend has it that the Devas wake up after a six-month long slumber during this period. And so it is believed that those pass away during Uttarayana attain salvation. In fact, Bheeshma is believed to have waited for the dawn of Uttarayana before he gave up his life.
As is customary, cleaning of every house a few days prior to the Pongal festival is an indispensable ritual. Not only every house is cleaned, but it is also dusted and whitewashed. Wearing new clothes on Pongal is also customary. Attired in a new "Lehanga" and half sari for young girls and lungi and angavastram, the men, women and children prepare themselves for celebrating the first day called Bhogi Pandigai. This day is dedicated to Indra, who is also called Bhogi. It is believed that on this day Lord Krishna had urged the people to neglect Indra and not worship him. People take oil bath on this day. Using rice paste "Kolam" is drawn and this represents the Sun. The items that are generally used to celebrate Pongal; Sandalwood paste, vermilion, mango saplings, coconut fronds, sugarcanes, banana leaves, ginger pieces, white flour, new vessels for cooking, turmeric, and a "thali" or metal plate in which the sun is viewed.
Pongal is a four-day affair. The first day, Bhogi, is celebrated on the last day of the month of Margazhi. Scholars have often compared Bhogi to the Indra Vizha celebrated by the Chola kings at Kaveripattinam, also known as Poompuhar. Indra Vizha was celebrated in honour of Lord Indra, also called Bhogi, the God of thunder and rain.
The second day is Surya Pongal also called Perum Pongal. It is the most important day and people worship Surya, the Sun God and his consorts, Chaya and Samgnya. There are several legends associated with Surya Pongal. A sage named Hema prayed to Lord Vishnu on the banks of the Pottramarai tank in Kumbakonam. On Surya Pongal day, the lord is believed to have taken the form of Sarangapani and blessed the sage. Yet another legend has it that Lord Shiva performed a miracle where a stone image of an elephant ate a piece of sugarcane.
The third day is Mattu Pongal, celebrated to glorify cattle that help farmers in a myriad ways. On this day, the cows are bathed and decorated with vermilion and garlands and fed. The last day is Kaanum Pongal. It is that part of the festival when families used to gather on the riverbanks and have a sumptuous meal (kootanchoru). It is also time for some traditional dances such as kummi and kolattam. In recent years, that day is celebrated as Uzhavar Tirunal in honor of farmers.
The dishes prepared during these days are "Sarkarai Pongal", "Ven Pongal", Dosai and Sambhar, Vadai and Payasam (a sweet rice pudding).
A typical traditional Pongal celebration has a number of rituals attached to it. The preparations for the festival are quite elaborate. The place where the Pongal puja is to be performed is cleaned and smeared with dung, a day prior to the festival. The place chosen for this purpose usually happens to be in the courtyard or an open terrace. Kolams (ground patterns made out of rice flour) generally drawn with rice flour are special to the occasion. The idea behind using rice flour is that the insects would feed on it and bless the household. The kolam also bears sociological significance and is even today religiously performed daily as a threshold ceremony before dawn in traditional Tamil homes. The Sankranti Rath (chariot) is a typical Pongal kolam. The ropes of the rath are supposed to be kept open till on the next day they are “joined” from house to house to symbolize a collective desire to realize an uninterrupted cosmic cycle. At the centre of it a lump of cow dung holds a five petal pumpkin flower, which is regarded as a symbol of fertility and an offering of love to the presiding deity.
Like many other Indian festivals, Pongal also has a few interesting legends attached to it signifying the importance it holds. The most popular legend is the one connected to the first day of the Pongal celebration when the Rain God, Bhogi or Indra is worshipped. According to the legend, on this day Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain on his little finger to shelter his people and save them from being washed away by the rains and floods.
Another legend is associated with the third day of Pongal celebration, also known as Mattu Pongal. According to it, Lord Shiva once asked Nandi, his bull, to go to earth and deliver his message to the people - to have an oil bath every day, and food once a month. But Nandi got it all mixed up when he delivered the message, and told the people that Shiva asked them to have an oil bath once a month, and eat every day. Shiva was displeased, and told Nandi that since the people would now need to grow more grain, Nandi would have to remain on earth and help them plough the fields. Mattu Pongal is also called Kanu Pongal, and women pray for the welfare of their brothers. This is similar to the festivals of Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj celebrated in some states of North India.
As the January chill sets in, the joy of Pongal resounds the air. Pongal is celebrated on January 14th every year and is also one of the longest celebrations in the Tamil calendar, spread over four days.
The festival of Pongal is held dear particularly by the farming community as it marks the end of harvesting season. The markets start receiving stacks of sugarcanes, turmeric saplings and a horde of farm produces. The run-up to Pongal is as exciting as celebrating the occasion that is believed to ring in prosperity.
Pongal is celebrated for four days and the celebrations on the first day of the Tamil month Thai and continues for the three days. The month of Thai is supposed to be very auspicious for every kind of activity. The Sun is worshipped for his rays are responsible for the life on earth.
It is the biggest harvest festival, spread over four days. 'Bhogi' is celebrated on January 13, 'Pongal' on January 14, 'Mattu Pongal' on January 15, and 'Thiruvalluvar Day' on January 16.
The name of the festival is derived from Pongal, a rice pudding made from freshly harvested rice, milk and jaggery. The first day, "Bhogi Pongal", is a day for the family. "Surya Pongal", the second day, is dedicated to the worship of Surya, the Sun God. The third day of Pongal, "Mattu Pongal", is for the worship of the cattle.
Cattle are bathed, their horns polished and painted in bright colors, and garlands of flowers placed around their necks. Pongal is associated with cleaning and burning of rubbish, symbolizing the destruction of evil.
All the four days of Pongal have there own individual significance. On the first day, delicious preparations are made and homes are washed and decorated. Doorways are painted with vermilion and sandalwood paste with colourful garlands of leaves and flowers decorating the outside of almost every home. On this day 'Bhogi' or the Rain God is worshipped.
A typical traditional Pongal celebration has a number of rituals attached to it. The place where the Pongal Puja is to be conducted is cleaned and smeared with dung, a day prior to the festival. People generally choose an open courtyard for this purpose.
'Kolams' (Rangoli) generally drawn with rice flour are special to the occasion. The idea behind using rice flour is that the insects would feed on it and bless the household. At the center of it a lump of cow dung holds a five-petal pumpkin flower, which is regarded as a symbol of fertility and an offering of love to the presiding deity. In a similar way the houses are also cleaned, painted and decorated. Kolams (Rangoli) are made in the front yards of the houses and new clothes for the whole family are bought to mark the festivities. Even the cattle are gaily caparisoned with beads, bells and flowers-their horns painted and capped with gleaming metals.
The Tempting Recipes
Sweet rice, known as "Pongal", is cooked in a new earthenware pot at the same place where puja is to be performed. Fresh turmeric and ginger are tied around this pot. Then a delicious concoction of rice, Moong Dal, jaggery and milk are boiled in the pot on an open fire. This Pongal, according to ritual, is allowed to boil and spill out of the pot. Pongal, once ready, is offered to God first, on a new banana leaf along with other traditional delicacies like Vadas, Payasam, etc. Besides this, sugarcane, grain, sweet potatoes, etc are also offered to the Sun God.
A procession is taken out from the Kandaswamy (also spelt as Kandaswami) Temple in Chennai. In Madurai, Tanjore and Tiruchirrapalli, where Pongal is known as Jellikattu, bundles of money are tied to the horns of bulls, and villagers try and wrest the bundles from them. Community meals are made from the freshly gathered harvest and enjoyed by the entire village.
Tags: Art & Culture
It is one of the grandest Muslim festivals, and is also known as Bakrid. It fails on the 10th day of the Muslim month Zil-Hijja. There is an interesting story about the celebration. Once Hazrat lbrahim was ordered by Allah in a dream to sacrifice his dearest thing. To lbrahim his son was the dearest, So, he decided to sacrifice his son on the altar of Allah. He sought the permission of the members of the family and blindfolded himself so that at the time of sacrifice his love for the son may not deter him from the act. He struck with his sword, but when he removed the fold from his eyes, to his great pleasure and surprise, he found that he had sacrificed a ram instead of his son Since, then a ram, or goat or a camel is sacrificed and distributed among the neighbours and relatives.
Mon 2 Mar 2009, 13:27 PM | Posted by admin
The sacrifice of a ram or goat also symbolizes that man's position in the creation is far more high than any beast, and any sacrifice, however great, is a small thing for the sake of religion and Allah. The sacrificial ram or goat is reared with great care and is kept quite healthy and fat And the man who does the sacrifice must be a man of a character and deeply religious.
On Bakrid, the Muslims go to the mosques in the morning to offer prayers to Allah. and then sacrifice the animal at home. The cooked meat is partaken by the friends and relations. The poor, needy and sick are given money, clothes, etc., in charity on this day. Children also get money to spend, and gifts from their elders. People embrace one another out of sheer joy and greet each other Hindus also participate in it and offer their good wishes to their Muslim friends and well-wishers.
Tags: Art & Culture
The five basic tenets of Islam are :
1. There is no God but Allah and Prophet Muhammad is his messenger.
2. Offering of five daily prayers.
3. Fasting during Ramzaan.
4. Paying Zakat, a compulsory annual tax of 2.5 per cent on savings and assets that is distributed among the poor.
5. The Haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca for those who can afford it financially and physically.
What does Ramzan mean?
RAMAZAN also known as RAMADAAN. Ramazan is the holy month of the islamic calender. During this month muslim around the world observe fast for the whole month. Fasting during the day means abstenance from food, water and sex. The fasting period starts from an hour before daybreak till after sunset.
The months end with the siting of the new moon which signifies the day for Eid know as Eid-ul-Fitr.
Why Ramzan is Important to Muslims?
This month holds importance because it was during this month that the Holy Quraan, the word of Allah for mankind, was revealed through the Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). So during this month recitation of the Quraan is also done. The whole month becomes auspacious with everybody observing Roza and namaaz and all are filled with the spirit of piety and reverence.
How Ramzan is celebrated? What is Roza?
The Muslims are ordained to observe fast for 29 or 30 days (depending on the sighting of the moon) starting with the sighting of the new moon and end it after seeing the new moon, the next month. This Fasting is called 'Roza'. It is the month for self-introspection and self-restraint, penance and prayers. The roza is broken at the end of the day eating food or snacks. This meal or snacks called the iftaar and everybody share the meal with family members, relatives and dear ones.
Celebrated all over India, Eid-ul-Fitr is a very happy festival, especially for children who get gifts and money called 'Eidy' after having joined the elders at mass prayers and paying their respects to them. The bazaars are decked out and people go to Eid prayers in new clothes and accessories creating an atmosphere of colourful joy, happiness and brotherhood.
Prayers are held at all mosques in all over India, like in the Jama Masjid, Delhi where the scene is that of a fair: festivities, games and shops or stalls for children and adults. Eid-ul-Fitr brings a message of peace, friendship and brotherhood, which is displayed by 'Eid-Milan', literally meaning, 'embracing and celebrating together'. This is done after Eid prayers when all embrace each other at the mosque. Friends and business acquaintances of all faiths and communities are invited home for Eid-Milan and are served festive food including 'Sewaiyaan' (vermicelli/noodles cooked in ghee and milk with sugar), also known as 'Paisam' in Southern India.
The last 10 days of Ramzan are more important as the faithful watch for Lailathul Qadr (the Night of Power) during which the revelation of the book to the Prophet was completed. In a way it is considered the climax of Ramzan and Muslims keep awake all night praying or listening to sermons by Ulema or the high priest.
Know More About RAMADAN
Mon 2 Mar 2009, 13:24 PM | Posted by admin
Tags: Art & Culture
The festival of Milad-un-Nabi, or Bara Wafat is celebrated with eclat and enthusiasm by the Muslims all over the country. It commemorates the birthday of Hazrat Mohmmad and fails on the twelfth day of Rabi-ul-Awwal month. Prophet Mohammed was born in 571 A.D. on 12th April at Mecca in Arabia. Abdulla was his father and Amina his mother. Khadiza was Mohmmad's wife. That was the period of moral chaos and great corruption. Mohammad spent his time in prayer and meditation in seclusion. He led the people on the path of morality and true religion.
Mon 2 Mar 2009, 13:21 PM | Posted by admin
On the day of Milad the Prophet's teachings are repeated, the holy Koran is read and recited and religious meetings are organized in the mosques. The devotees keep night vigil spend their time in namaz and reading of Koran. They invite friends. and relatives to feast, and offer food, clothing money, etc., to the poor.
Tags: Art & Culture
Holi is one of the four most popular festivals observed by all without any distinction of caste, creed, status or sex. It is observed on the full moon night of Phalguna. It marks the end of winter and the advent of spring season. It is a two-day festival. On the first night bone fire is lighted in the evening or night. Before being lit, it is worshipped and offered water and grains, then people go round it to perform pradikshna. Children make merry; womenfolk sing gay songs and adults also sing phag to the accompaniment of cymbal and drums. People enjoy fun and like to play practical jokes on one another.
Mon 2 Mar 2009, 12:15 PM | Posted by admin
The next day, people amuse themselves by splashing coloured water and throwing coloured water powder on their friends, relatives, neighbours and even passerby. Noisy and colorful processions are taken out through the bazaars and streets. In refined people it is characterized by songs, music, floral decoration and splashing of perfumed water. Sweets and visits are exchanged and cold drinks prepared at home, are served liberally. People forget all enmity and embrace each other, with warmth and love, and renew their friendship. New corn is baked and eaten on this day for the first time in the season.
There are several myths about the origin of the festival of Holi. According to one Puranic myth, there was a great demon Hiranyakashyap. He conquered all the three worlds and made the God, and instead declared himself God. People were made to worship him at the point of sword. But his son Prahlad, a mere child, a noble and great soul, was a a great devotee of Vishnu and always chanted his name and sang his glories. It infuriated his demon father and he odered "let this evil-soul child be killed."
To kill Prahlad several fatal means were adopted, but none succeeded. At last a big fire was lighted and Prahlad was made to sit in her aunt Holika’s lap and she jumped into the fire. Holika claimed immunity from fire, but by the grace of God, Prahlad came out of the fire alive and unscathed but his aunt had died. The burning of Holi commemorates this event. It symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.
Tags: Art & Culture
inspite of immense urbanization, the traditions and customs attached to the harvest festival of Pongal has not diminished. Though the nature of these tradition and customs has changed, the glitter of this festival has not dimmed. The fast changing times notwithstanding, certain things do not change. The way we celebrate the festivals, for instance. The festival of Pongal captures the quintessence of south Indian culture in all its entirety and traditional practices and customs continue to hold their own even today.
Mon 2 Mar 2009, 12:13 PM | Posted by admin
The spirit is alive and Pongal is still treated as a time to discard the old and welcome the new. The new crop that is harvested is cooked and offered to the Almighty. Celebrated for four days, the various traditions and customs of this harvest festival are :
The first day of Pongal known as 'Bhogi Pongal' is a day for family gathering and is dedicated to Lord Indra, the king of the deities and God of the Clouds and Rains. Offerings are made to him to please him so that he blesses us for the plentiful harvest. It is also the beginning of the New Year according to the Malayalam calendar and before sunrise, a huge bonfire of useless things in home is lit that is kept burning throughout the night. All the time, boys beat little buffalo-hide drums known as 'Bhogi Kottus'. The houses are then cleaned till they shine and are decorated with Kolams painted using rice four. There are yellow pumpkin flowers are set in cow-dung balls in the middle of these designs.
The second day of Pongal known as 'Surya Pongal' is dedicated to the Sun God. The granaries are kept full on this day and Sun God with his rays are painted on a plank as he is worshiped with the birth of the new auspicious month of Thai. Since the word 'Ponga' means 'to boil' representing plentiful and excess yield, a special dish is cooked on this day in a new mud-pot that comes in innovative shapes and have artistic designs on them called 'Pongapani'. The special dish is called 'Sarkkarai Pongal' and is offered to Sun God with sugarcane sticks. It is said that Lord Sundareshwar performed a miracle on this day in the Madurai temple and breathed life into a stone elephant who ate sugarcanes. One can see the depiction of the event in the Meenakshi temple.
The third day known as 'Mattu Pongal' is dedicated to the cattle as cowherds and shepherds pay thanks to their cows and bulls, paint their horns and cover them with shining metal caps. They are fed 'Pongal' and tinkling bells are tied around their neck. Cattle races are conducted and in the game called 'Manji Virattu' groups of young men chase running bulls. Bull fights called 'Jallikattu' are also arranged at some places where young men have to take the money bags tied to the horns of ferocious bulls single-handedly and without the use of arms. Lord Ganesha and Goddess Parvati are also worshiped on this day. At some other places, this day is celebrated as Kanu Pongal when girls feed colored balls of cooked rice to the birds and crows and pray for their brothers' happiness and that they always remember them.
Tags: Art & Culture
Way back in 1784 Asiatic Society made history as it was a forum of ‘new awakening and neo thinking’. Interestingly Asiatic Society was the mother of Indian Museum! Since then the organisation grew to become an heritage institutions with its rare collections. But today this institution has become a victim of ‘politicking’and resultant fund crunch! With its closed door policies heritage was not even made public and scholars are groping in dark! In a recent ‘facilitated’ rare and exclusive visit, I have come across the massive holdings and monumental neglect of rare paintings which are lying on the floor and gathering dust ! Prof. Sarkar, General Secretary of the Society explained that ‘Society has no space to keep it, but we are interested to create a Musuem of those rare 48 paintings’.
Interestingly the heritage holdings of Asiatic Society remained ‘Unsung’ by the Government of India during its much publicised ‘Celebration’ of Indian culture, ethos and heritage. Prof Sarkar explained ‘Government calender of celebration never mentioned Asiatic Society in the ‘Yugpad’. Moreover, as ‘Golden Jubilee’ gift the fund allocation for the society was slashed to half!
Except a chosen few, Government is perhaps not aware of its holdings. During the visit I was told that there are 48000 rare ancient manuscripts which are kept in vault. Research and upkeeping is an ongoing process. The earliest Mss. I could see was the Kubjikamata Tantra of 7th Century old. There are many Buddhist Manuscripts and two tankha. Some are too brittle to be touched. Prof. Kajol Sen, Incharge of Mss. and rare books explained that those Mss.are being microfilmed and would be ready for scholars access. One can see very rare Asokan Edic of 250 B.C. written in blingual fashion .The script is Brahmi and languages are Prakrit and Sanskrit. The edict explains the ‘Dharma’ of Lord Buddha’s philosophy. Some of those rare collections are kept in five ‘make-shift’show- cases and they call it a ‘Museum’. Well there are more than one lakh rare books available in Asiatic Society and the oldest is a Book a Venice Publication of 1497 A.D.
Amidst rare holdings, I came across rare original paintings of 19th century which if valued commercially would fetch several million dollars. All those are kept on the ‘floor’ for lack of Space. Those rare paintings are of Robert Home, Daniell, Lemekalli, Raynolds etc.
‘Two Daneills’ by Home; ‘Cupid’ by Sir J. Reynolds,the paintings of youthful William Jones would really amaze even art historians. Dr. S. Sengupta the Art Historian (Author of pioneering book ‘Highlights and Halftones: The Raj View of Indian Arts’) on seeing these rare photographs said "This is really rare original collection and heritage we inhereted need to be studied by all and be preserved in a scientific manner for posterity". Yes, if those paintings are not kept well then we would end up spending millions of dollars for repairing those rare works as happened in Victora Memorial.
However, it is gathered that Asiatic Society is going to bring out an album on this subject and Museum is still a distant dream as ‘space’ is the wanting factor. Prof. Kajol Sen said that ‘We need Corporate help to upkeep our vast heritage and show it to the world as well through an exclusive Museum.’
These paintings are of immense value aesthetically and Historically. If you see the paintings of Radhakanta Deb drawn by F.R. Say in a standing posture with white clothes with one hand placed atop of an open book kept over a table with pinkish table cover and the other hand he is holding his traditional shawl. This painting would enthuse the interplay of colour temperatures and historical value as well. Dr. Ranjit Sen of Calcutta University explained ‘Radha Kanta represented the paradoxes of 19th Century as he stood for most powerful Hindu orthodoxy of the country as well as he projected the most sensitive impulses originating from western nationalism and liberalism that eventually mainfested in his personage of education and culture so this photograph highlights the anthetical balance of History--its a rare collection indeed.’
‘Cleopatra’ by Guicle would remind you of renaissance days of European paintings. The gesture of looking at sky with bare body is a marvellous play of light and shade. The celestial Cupid fast asleep within the cloudy horizon not only expresses sublimity but the aesthetics of the subject as well. Then once you see the Daniell’s Ghat of Benaras would mesmerise the onlooker. The shades of brown played in harmonized fashion with silhouette of Mandir and houses with stairs going down the Ganga would nurture your inner mind for a rare aesthetic pleasure. The Pelican by Holmes is not only for nature lovers but an aesthetic lesson for students of arts world-over.
But nobody would be able to see those rare original works if those are stored on the floors for some more years. If the heritage of Asiatic Society to be kept alive then ‘Space’, ’Fund’ and ‘Will’ are mandatory. It may be noted that there is no dearth of talents in Asiatic Society to upkeep those rare collections, as I have personally seen well managed manuscript kept in the vaults and high-standard ‘document reparing’ work which in many way equates the standard of National Archives of India. Thus expertise is within the reach barring Space and Fund management!
Prof Sarkar said ‘We are planning to have a permanent Museum of those paintings but the space and fund remains the buffer... we expect Corporate participation as well to preserve our ‘Heritage Collection’. Well! This can be a subject of Millennium Celebration for the Corporate World! Is there any taker?
» Crash Story
» Chronology of Jyoti Basu's life
» Jyoti Basu: Marxist who almost became India's PM Died Today
» Annular Solar Eclipse 15th January, 2010
» My Name is Khan a love story: SRK
» Terror suspect Headley not our agent, says CIA
» Chiranjeevi resigns, explains new "united Andhra" passion
» India-Lanka ODI shifted to Nagpur
» Italian PM Berlusconi struck in face, bloodied
» Telangana: Govt gives in, KCR ends fast
» India rout Lanka, become World No 1 Test side
» At least 101 killed in Russian nightclub blast
» Has India changed after 26/11?
» Islam - the lawful (Halaal) and the prohibited (Haram)
» 4 MNS MLAs suspended for attacking Abu Azmi
» 40 hours on, Jaipur's oil depot still ablaze
» Fire at oil depot in Jaipur; 6 killed, 150 injured
» Andhra CM YSR Reddy, 4 others killed in crash
» ISRO launches virtual globe-mapping â€˜Bhuvanâ€™
» A chat with Dr.Devi Shetty
» Tribute to Michael Jackson - 'King of Pop'
» Homage to Kamala Suraya
» Hamas, The Best Chance for Peace in the Land of the Philistines
» PANADOL : Beware
» Is the Bull Market Real, or Will it Fizzle?
» IPL Plans Longer Strategy Breaks This Season
» Women Education in Modern India
» Higher Education in India
» New Income Tax Forms for 2009-10 AY Notified
» You Can Vote "None of the Above"
» Elections 2009: India Awakening
» All ready to vote for change - but for whom and what?
» Throwing a shoe â€“ and reminding us about crimes 25 years ago
» Shah Rukh and Aamir: Khan they?
» Who will be the next PM of India ?
» Humble and Contrite Thieves: Goldman Sachs wants to pay back 25% and walk away
» DIFFERENT KIND OF INVESTMENTS
» The Seven Mistakes All Novice Traders Make and How to Correct Them
» Israelâ€™s Death Culture, a Dragging Anchor
» Black Money in Swiss Bank
» Decay of Spiritual Values in India
» Youth of India's lack of interest in politics
» How to help children avoid becoming addicted to television
» Hobbies for Busy Women
» How to prepare for exams ?
» Exams for kids, fever for parents
» Mumbai celebrates Vada-Pav day today
» Microsoft to Launch Windows Mobile 7 Next Year
» Google uses 1000 machines
» Exercise At Work
» January 2010
» December 2009
» November 2009
» October 2009
» September 2009
» August 2009
» July 2009
» June 2009
» April 2009
» March 2009
» February 2009
Art & Culture
Foods & Beverages
Health & Fitness
Tours & Travels
Web Design & Development
Get the blog's RSS feed
About RSS Feeds
Sphere: Related Content