Celebration | Indian Republic Day, Baghdad

India celebrates January 26th every year as her Republic Day to mark the date when the Constitution of India came into force. The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949, and came into effect on January 26, 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country’s transition towards becoming an independent republic. Continue reading Celebration | Indian Republic Day, Baghdad

Nabapatrika | Unique Ritual of Durga Puja

Nabapatrika was a popular ancient ritual performed by the peasants/farmers worshipping Mother Nature for rich and bountiful harvest. With the popularity of the Durga Puja, this ritual was assimilated in the festivities. This important ritual of Durga Puja is an example of inclusiveness — harmonious synthesis of Vedic and ancient non-Vedic rituals. As we cry for climate change and environment, here is the highest form of regard for the environment where goddess Durga is symbolized by the Banana Plant and the important plants and trees are worshiped for the preservation instead of devastation. Continue reading Nabapatrika | Unique Ritual of Durga Puja

National Forest Martyrs Day | September 11

National Forest Martyrs Day is observed in India on September 11 every year to commemorate the Khejarli massacre, which took place on September 11 in 1730. The Ministry of Environment and Forest made the declaration in 2013 to remember the sacrifice of those who laid their lives to protect the forests and wildlife across the remote corners of the country and since then, people across India observe this day every year to pay tributes to the valour and sacrifice made the forest personnel to protect the forests and wildlife of India. Continue reading National Forest Martyrs Day | September 11

Celebration | Durga Puja, Varanasi

The festival season in India means bright colours, lights, giant floats, ceremonies and excitement. The major Indian celebration is Durga Puja (Puja meaning worship). The Hindu Goddess Durga is the goddess of Shakti (power). Magic may be the only word that best describes the pageantry and fanfare that revolves around Durga Puja. While going through some old pictures yesterday, I came across the photographs of … Continue reading Celebration | Durga Puja, Varanasi

The Culture of Impatience & Instant Gratification

We were today discussing in our group of old school buddies on the new developing culture of impatience and instant gratification. We all are working in different sectors but had a common view that as younger generations getting accustomed to immediate feedback, the erosion of their patience is leading to serious problems. The millennials and the youth have the “gotta have it right now” mindset. … Continue reading The Culture of Impatience & Instant Gratification

Durga Puja in Kolkata | Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Kolkata’s Durga Puja is India’s official nomination for the 2020 edition of the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Durga Puja is not only a religious festival, it is the most significant socio-cultural event in Bengal. Though predominantly originated in the Hindu ritual and legends, the Durga Puja celebration cross cuts the communal divide in many of its attributes. It is an epitome of harmony across caste, class, creed and religion. Continue reading Durga Puja in Kolkata | Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Shahi Snan on Mauni Amavasya | Kumbh Mela (Prayagraj, 2019)

The Kumbh Mela — the largest congregation in the world — sees world gathering of saints, pilgrims, devotees to take holy dips in the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mystical Saraswati. Bathing in these rivers is thought to cleanse and purify ones’ soul of all sins. Recognized by UNESCO as India’s ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’, Kumbh Mela never ceases to amaze and its amazement is always felt in the grandeur of it being the largest religious-cultural festival in the world.  Continue reading Shahi Snan on Mauni Amavasya | Kumbh Mela (Prayagraj, 2019)

Significance of Rituals

The act of ritual is a common thread that has linked humanity throughout the ages, regardless of ethnicity, culture or religion. Through ritual we build families and community, we make transitions and mark important events in our lives, we express ourselves in joy and sorrow, and perhaps, most importantly, we create and sustain identity. Our ancient ancestors used the bond of ritual to create ties of kinship necessary for survival in a world rife with dangers. Continue reading Significance of Rituals

Centre of Adda Culture in Baghdad | Shahbandar Café

Shahbandar café is one of Bagh­dad’s few remaining traditional cultural cafés. Since opening its doors, Shahbandar café had become a hub of Baghdad’s intellectual life, drawing poets and politicians to its wooden benches and photo-lined walls.  The café still stands, a testament to the resilience of the country and the capital, Baghdad, even if so much has happened here. From British rule to modern-day Iraq, Shahbandar has lived through the birth of a nation, the toppling of its monarchy, decades of domination by Saddam Hussein, the drama of the US-led invasion and the bloody chaos that followed. Continue reading Centre of Adda Culture in Baghdad | Shahbandar Café