In the early morning today, while returning to Baghdad, I found live performance of Indian classical music at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any music lover stopping for a while to enjoy the music. I was alone there for sometime!
I have got some very lovely friends in Baghdad. We share gifts between us. But, we have not met each other yet. This makes our relationship very special. These friends are colleagues of my husband in Baghdad.
Due to security reasons etc. I have not yet visited Baghdad and hence I have not met them. But, whenever, my husband comes home from there they always send some nice gifts to me. I also send them some gifts through my husband when he returns to Baghdad. Of them, I am closer to Teeba as we exchange emails and text messages sometimes. With others, we communicate mainly through my husband.
This time they sent me a very beautiful painting on canvas showing traditional image of Baghdad.
I liked it so much that I immediately got it framed and hanged it in our drawing-room. More than the gift, their love and respect for me behind the gifts are very touching, and I treasure it the most.
Many thanks to Lina, Rafeef, Sarah, Teeba and Yussur!
Gangnam Style has become the first video to clock up more than one billion views on YouTube. The South Korean dance track was posted online in July, propelling pop star Psy to worldwide fame.
YouTube said that the video had been watched seven million to 10 million times a day on average! It overtook the previous record holder – Justin Bieber’s music video Baby – on 24 November.
Incredible! Congratulations, Psy!
Today is Mahasaptami, the 7th day of Navaratri. The main Durga puja starts today. The country is getting dressed up for next four days of complete festivities. This is the most important, social and religious festival of Bengalis. Durga puja is celebrated by Bengalis all over the world, from Australia to America.
My other old friends have also come home in Ranchi from their colleges for Durga Puja. We six of us arranged a get together in the day. We all planned to assemble at our house. We planned to go for lunch at some dhaba on NH-33. We heard of a new joint – Royal Retreat. So we headed for it. We could not find it and reached BIT crossing. Then we started enquiring and so started coming back as we missed it! Then we found it and it’s quite close to our house – near Booty More. As we entered it’s premises, we found the reason for missing while driving down the highway. It’s not a dhaba! It’s a 5-star hotel!! We were not planned for this and so we returned back and had our lunch at Dawat restaurant near RIMS. It was followed by coffee at Brewberry at Lalpur.
In the evening, I and my dad went to Maitraee Club, North Office Para, Doranda for evening cultural programmes there.
Mom was already there since noon for the puja and cultural programmes. She is also one of the organizers. The kids of the neighborhood presented nice programmes.
Then dad, Gaurav and I went to Mecon Colony to see the Durga Puja there. We had nice time there and had good funds.
They have done some nice decorations with lights. It was looking great.
We had some sugar candies there.
Gaurav and I had some shooting games there.
Then, we returned to Maitraee Club and had dinner there with mom. We had Chow Mein and fish fries. We returned home around midnight. Oh, I have to upload the pictures too. Tomorrow is Mahashtami and we will go to Jamshedpur.
Karma is one of the most popular festivals of Jharkhand. This festival falls in the month of August/September (Hindu month of Bhadrapad). It is a festival celebrated by the Oraon, Baiga, Binjhwari and Majhwar tribes of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
The name Karma is drawn from the name of a tree “Karam”. The branch of the Karam tree is carried by the Karma dancers and is passed among them with singing and dancing. This branch is washed with milk and rice beer locally known as Handia. Then it is raised in the middle of the dancing arena. All worshippers dance for whole night in the praise of the “Karam”. The ritual starts with the planting of the trees. The dancers form a circle and dance with their arms around each other dancer’s waists.
The branches are garlanded on the next day. Offerings of flowers, rice and curd are made to them. Red coloured baskets filled with grains are placed before the branches. Barley seedlings are distributed among the young people, who wear it on their heads. The branches are worshipped and their blessings sought. As per the legends of Karam Devi, she is believed to be the goddess of wealth and children.
During the dance they pass the branch of the tree, the men leap forward to a rapid roll of drums, while women dance with their feet moving in perfect rhythm to and fro.
Karma Dance is also one of the oldest dance form in India. This dance form is common to the many ethnic groups of India.
Happy Karma to everyone!
My mom had decided to visit the temple of Sai Baba at Shirdi after I get admitted to SMIMS, Gangtok. My dad planned and booked the itinerary for us to visit Shirdi. He could not join us due to his engagements with his profession. We are missing him.
We reached Aurangabad from Ranchi via Mumbai yesterday. Ajanta & Ellora caves are near Aurangabad besides Shirdi. We reached Aurangabad in the evening around 8:00 pm yesterday.
Since 1983, the Ajanta caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These rock-cut caves are located around 105km away from Aurangabad city of Maharashtra, India.
There are 30 caves in Ajanta of which 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are chaitya-grihas and the rest are monasteries.
These caves were discovered in AD 1819 and were built up in the earlier 2nd century BC-AD. Most of the paintings in Ajanta are right from 2nd century BC-AD.
During the Gupta period (5th and 6th centuries A.D.), many more richly decorated caves were added to the original group.
The paintings and sculptures of Ajanta, considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, have had a considerable artistic influence.
All paintings show heavy religious influence, centre on Buddha, Bodhisattvas, and incidents from the life of Buddha and the Jatakas. The paintings are executed on a ground of mud-plaster in the tempera technique.
The paintings, sculptures, murals inside the caves are awesome. These reflect the high quality of art and ideas of the great artists, sculptors of those periods. My mom and I were awestruck when we saw them. We did not realize before that these caves will reveal such a treasure of beauties!
Tomorrow we will leave for Shirdi and will visit Shani Shringanapur on the way.
A positive corporate culture lays the foundations for a positive work culture. Both require cultural foundations of wellbeing and performance based on the principles of commitment, trust and engagement, together with the displays of manager behavior that reflect these foundations.
The right work culture in any organization forms the foundation of its success. This is because when employees understand and assimilate the dynamics of an ideal work culture, they perform to their optimum levels and business rewards keep everyone happy.
Work culture imparts a share sense of mission among the employees. There needs to be an atmosphere of trust and confidence in the organization. Another useful way to inculcate the right work culture is to offer clear, objective feedback. People learn more quickly and work well when they are told how they are doing. For this there should be adequate trust, sense of belongingness, mutual cooperation and reasonable transparency at every level.
Managers influence the ways in which people behave towards each other, and if the behavior is based on commitment, trust and engagement, employees respond by feeling psychologically well and working at their peak level of performance.
We can summarize the characteristics of a positive corporate culture and a positive work place culture:
- A clear, unambiguous purpose, expressed as a simple ‘corporate vision’, an idea which all staff relate to closely, and are proud to discuss with friends and colleagues.
- An atmosphere of confidence, where all the staff are interested in each other, support each other, and project this confidence towards clients and customers.
- Staff, who behave respectfully towards each other, value each other’s views and opinions, work in teams which are places of mutual support, where anything is debated without a hint of humiliation, where the critique of the individual and team work is welcomed, discussed and where lessons are learnt and implemented.
- Staff, who are personally driven towards organizational and personal success – intellectually, financially, socially and emotionally.
One of the art world’s most recognisable images — Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” — sold Wednesday for a record $119,922,500 at auction in New York City. To mere mortals it hardly seemed like a bargain but someone, somewhere, last night decided that owning a rare version of Edvard Munch’s iconic 1895 artwork The Scream was worth shelling out an eye-watering 119.9 million dollars.
The price, one of the highest ever paid for a work of art and the highest for one bought at an open auction, came after just 12 minutes of bidding and was won by a so-far anonymous telephone bidder. Neither the buyer’s name nor any details about the buyer was released.
The intense interest in the paining is mostly due to its huge stature in both the art world and in global popular culture. The 1895 painting, which is one of only four versions of the work in existence and widely seen as the best one, is one of a handful of artistic images that have crossed over from the world of high art to popular culture.
Now The Scream will join a select group of works that have sold for more than a 100 million dollars, including Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust which sold in 2010 Christie’s for 106.5 million dollars. Yet even that hefty price tag feels like a snip compared to the staggering 250 million dollars paid by oil-rich Qatar to snag Paul Cezanne’s The Card Players for a new art museum. Details of that deal only emerged earlier this year, but it was struck in 2011.
My friend in Ranchi – Pankaj Ji has got his collection of poems published under the name – Nayi Madhushala. The book has been published by Aroo Publications.
Nayi Madhushala was released in the World Book Fair being held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. We celebrated the proud occasion at his house in Ranchi with his family by cutting a cake.
Jaya and I went to his house to meet them with the cake. Pankaj ji cut the cake and then we all enjoyed the evening together. His wife Nisha prepared dinner for us.
In the meanwhile, we received the news that 2,000 copies of his book have been sold in first three hours.
Congratulations, Pankaj ji!