Friday, 30 September 2011

Image updates from Kolkata :I: Mahalaya & Tarpan

That time of the year again,when Kolkata feels insanely alive.
Maa Durga has come to town, the city is on a hyper drive
with last minute shopping being finished on one side and
pandal construction + Goddess installations on the other.
Both spectacular. Both maddening.
Mahalaya is the day which heralds the beginning of the festival.
A day that every Bengali starts with the radio telecast of
A day when thousands of Hindus take a dip in Maa Ganga
and pay respect to the departed ancestors with food offerings - tarpan.
Here are some images from the ghats.
The priests play a very important role and wait at the steps
of the ghats, take each and every one up to the river,
chant prayers and guide the offering process.
The little boys and girls, some of who are probably not even very sure
what this is all about, just soak in the glory of the ambiance
and enjoy the dip in the waters!
Street musicians from rural Bengal play at the banks,
kirtans or devotional songs, mostly praising Lord Krishna.
A young priest who held hands and prayed for many that morning.

The beautiful green soil of the river came up to the banks
and before every offering is made, the priest puts a
little bit of the holy soil on the foreheads on the worshipers.
While the river banks woke up to offerings of tarpan,
the rest of the city witnessed the homecoming, literally,
huge idols of the Goddess being lifted and carried to
what will be her home for the next 10 days.
I am hoping to take and post puja photos from Kolkata
as a series, so stay tuned. Shubho Mahalaya and happy pujas to all.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Featured in BBC Good Homes

Time for a couple of updates for all my readers. My work has been featured
in the the BBC Good Homes India magazine September Issue 2011,
article 'Doe-eyed damsels' in their art/designer profiles feature
titled 'Homemade beauties'.

I am honoured to be part of this wonderful magazine
and even more so to share space here with two ladies who need no introduction,
whom I admire and whose work I adore:
Vineeta Nair (who has been an inspiration & a huge support for me
since the time we e-met each other on blog land) and Kalyani Ganapathy.
A big thanks to Chandana Banerjee and the BBC Good Homes India team.
Chandana blogs at cookiejarsandfireflies where she says:
''Writing and journalism are my bread, butter and jam;
running Pink Elephant Writing Studio, the coffee I need every morning;
embroidery, art and craft, the icing on the cake.'' Indeed!

The second update, I was in India for a wedding in the family since July end
and had plans of returning to Geneva end of August.
However, there have been some change of plans and
we are not going back until Durga puja is over.

One of the first things I did when we decided to extend our stay
was to visit the art institutes and galleries to explore
possibilities, and, the response has been great so far.
More updates on that front later. Painting and blogging resumes.
Ganesh-ji visits us during Chaturthi each year,
which was at the beginning of this month.
Here is Ganesha dressed as a north-Indian groom
with his two wives Ridhhi and Sidhhi
dressed in a southern Indian traditional style.
Mount: Gallery wrapped canvas
Medium : Acrylics
Size: 20.5 cm X 25cm
Ridhhi and Sidhhi have brought him his favourite sweets
(modaks from the Mumbai and rasgullas from the Kolkata).
My work started here on this blog,
with all of you and it is your support and feedback that
keeps me going, thank you for your patience and love.

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