Oct 25, 2011

"Tis that time of the year again !

For us Diwali morning meant getting up early and giving the already spic and span house another thorough cleaning. By afternoon the floor and furniture would be gleaming, the cushions would be plumped up and new silk cushion covers would be out. I would rush to the market to buy flowers and mango leaves for decorating the temple and also come back with bouquets of whatever flowers I could find. I would arrange the bouquets all over the house, and place scented candles in bowls of water with floating flower petals in them. The kitchen meanwhile would be redolent with smells of wonderful things cooking. By evening the running around wuld start taking its toll and we would be exhausted and irritable from the arranging and cleaning and from attending to the various neighbors, friends and relatives who would drop in to wish us a Happy Diwali.

Around sunset would come the time for the Diwali Pooja. My father who would be sitting watching us all run around like headless chickens would quietly ask us what we had done about the Pooja. Diwali Pooja is something my dad takes extremely seriously and considers infinitely more important than all the decoration and lighting that we do. It has always been my job to make sure that the Temple is beautifully and artistically (something difficult for me to accomplish) decorated. Everything has to be neat and tidy. All paraphernalia for worship – flowers, Chandan, prayer books, vermillion etc had to be arranged neatly and meticulously. And god help me even if one thing is not where it is supposed to be!

My dad would sit in the front and mom besides him. We would all squeeze in the back and the Pooja would begin. In my childhood I would sit squirming and fidgeting through the long Pooja waiting for the time the Prasad and money would be distributed and I could start lighting the Diyas and putting them outside - That had always been my favorite job.

But then my mother would arrange Diyas in a platter before the image of Goddess Laksmi and light them. The Deeyas, the image of the goddess and the light smell of incense and flowers plus the baritone voice of my father intoning the mantras would start having a soothing effect on me. In the end we would all close our eyes and ask the Lord for his blessings. In that moment of stillness, I would forget my friends bursting crackers outside, I would forget all about eating sweets, I would forget my tiredness. I would just sit still and feel the peace and serenity seep slowly through me. This for me remains the most prominent memory of Diwali…

So This Diwali I wish you a life time of serenity and contentment and the wisdom to enjoy the simple joys in Life.

May his light always shine on you and your families.
All my Love

Oct 24, 2011

London Diaries (7) : Shakespeare’s Globe !

London is a mecca for theater lovers and The Globe is a pilgrimage all Shakespeare theater lovers must make ! As an ardent literature and theater fan,The Globe for me was a must visit! The original Globe Theater was built by Shakespeare’s theater company to stage his plays. It was destroyed in the Great London fire. The current theater is built almost as a replica of the theater in Shakespeare’s time. The original structure was made entirely of wood and had a thatched roof. The city of London has very stringent fire - safety rules and the Globe theater is the only structure with a thatched roof that is allowed in London.

As soon as you enter the theater you feel as if you have been transported back to Shakespeare`s London. There is the stage – made of wood,bright colorful and with an old world charm. Nowadays they have mikes installed on it but in the olden times the artists performed there without the help of mikes and they still managed to ensure that their voice reached the last benches ! Then there is the `pit` a standing room only area just below the stage where in the olden times the common man would stand and see the plays – which often ran for hours at a time. The sitting area behind the pit comprises of wooden benches.

Even now people buy tickets to see theater in the traditional manner by standing in the pit as commoners or by sitting on those hard wooden benches. The tickets for the plays at the Globe get sold out almost immediately. I was in London for about three weeks and I tried desperately to get a ticket to see a play at the globe but I was not successful – I couldn’t even get tickets to stand in the pit !

Here are a few snaps that I clicked

The Stage

The wodden benches, the area where the lady is standing is the Pit

Juliet`s balcony - for the staging of romeo and Juliet !

The Globe Theater

Oct 20, 2011

If blogs could talk ....

mine would be saying good bye to me right now! And before wishing me adieu and running off to another blogger who at least cares about it enough to write regularly, it would curse me heartily for neglecting it so!For I am not a good blogger. Rather I am a moody whimsical writer who writes with frenzy when the mood strikes me and then goes through phases where I simply ignore my blog for weeks together. Meanwhile my readers (the very few faithful souls that are still hanging about waiting for me to write) finally get fed up and abandon me. I promised my blog that I would make it a very creative space and fill it with interesting observations, funny anecdotes and travel stories and make it a adda where people would come read, discuss, enjoy and leave with a feeling of time well spent! So much for promises … all I have given my blog is a forlorn neglected look :(

I guess I can give a hundred reasons for not writing like I did here or work pressures for the silence on my blog but seriously it really boils down to the fact that I have been procrastinating … yet again!

It’s been almost three months since I came back from my jaunts across UK and Canada and yet I am still not even half way through the travelogues , and I have just come back from Orchha and Khajuraho – these wonderful places deserve a post too ! And there are many interesting topics I have in my mind that I want to blog about. So I have decided to write regular blog posts and intersperse them with travelogues to make things more interesting …So forgive me my gentle readers and please don’t run away from my blog for this time I promise to be good. :)

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