Sep 30, 2009

Navarathri - A festival of dolls

In school days, apart from 2-3 weeks of mid-term holidays, Dasara was a special season - full of celebration, decoration, nice things to eat, lot of visitors at home....

Dad, mom and we would all arrange the steps, decorate walls and ceilings with color papers, hang silk curtains out of mom’s sarees, get down the big carton of dolls, stored in the attic, arrange them all, put serial lights, help mom with making many varieties of snacks and sweets for guests.....

And this was one time of the year when I would take my friends home, mom and dad would invite their friends, our teachers, relatives, people in the neighborhood, and the house will be full of visitors.....
It had been missing it all from the last few years. This time, I made up my mind to do it all, albeit in a smaller scale, in my house and relive those moments again. I convinced Dee and in-laws on this, got home a part of the packed dolls from mom’s place and started out the venture. Dee, who was reluctant in the beginning, had his creativity coming out of from some hidden corner and got so fully involved and made such good arrangements.

Top view of our park

We started out making a park first time, not sure how much of sand and mud should go in for some ragi to grow, and look green!!! With a lot of phone calls to mom, and suggestions from in-laws, we got it to a decent looking form.

We got little niece Hima on our side, by involving her, and giving her a role to watch out for anyone touching the dolls, and complaining about them to me! This made her feel responsible and engaged, and she never disturbed the set up. She in fact was so delighted that she kept on hugging me and telling me, “Atte, gombe super!!” Ahh... what a moment it was!
And she called this doll in the park, with a dog as "Hima and Bruno"...
Ok, so we arranged everything, in whatever little time we got. I realized how difficult it is to take out time for all these, after a tiring day at work....... We invited some friends, but couldn’t invite many more And managing so many visitors was also a challenge! But after all the efforts, it was rewarding. I felt great pride in saying these are my parents’ collection, most of them over two decades old, when someone asked about them. Overall, it was a good start, and hope we continue with it.....

Navarathri or Dasara is a festival of dolls in South India. Most of the households have a tradition of decorating and arranging a collection of dolls, during this festival for 10 days. A pair of wooden dolls of bride and groom, which is passed on to the girl during her wedding, is the most important one. In households having constraints of making a full fledged arrangement, at least these two dolls will be kept along with kalasa (kalash) and goddesses are prayed. During this period, friends and relatives, especially kids will be invited and sweets and snacks distributed to them.

Sep 24, 2009

A long pending tag

Anu Russell had tagged me a couple of months back, and I was just procrastinating it till I got ready with my list of annoyances! I was happy I got a chance to articulate the annoyances ;)
Okie.... Here is my list of annoyances...
  • TV on high volume, especially those stupid saas bahu mega, giga, tera serials - I HATE it; I just hate it.
  • Borrowing things and messing up with it - I am particularly possessive about my belongings. If I lend something to someone, I expect it back in the same way, and get real annoyed if people don’t respect
  • When someone gets extra-sensitive and either gets offended for petty things or say ‘sorry’ for a petty
  • When aunties show extra curiosity about family planning, and start asking embarrassing questions; it gets more annoying when younger aunties do it
  • When someone dumps their responsibility on you. Also, lazy people who just want to relax when someone else is forced to be working for them
  • When someone talks age old rules, without thinking rationally for themselves about how apt it is....
  • Hypocrites
  • When people try to be extra good by going out of their way to do things beyond their capacity, and end up irritating others around, or expecting them to help in their ‘noble cause’
  • MCPs or anyone who generalize and talk as if the women folk are incapable of everything and men are
  • People with lack of personal hygiene - I don’t think I should elaborate this ;)
And the next part, I love people
  • who have a happy disposition, are cheerful and try to bring smiles to everyone around
  • who try to uplift my spirits when I’m feeling low, and support me through tough time
  • when people acknowledge some good thing that I’ve done - be it even a little thing
  • when they trust
  • with a good sense of humor
  • who find solutions, than cribbing about little things
Now i tag the following blog-pals
- Anantha, Preeti, Ricky, Chandu, Kaush, Deep and anyone else interested to take it up.

Sep 11, 2009

Humane Award!

Received this award from Anu Russell...... Thanks Anu...... I'm honored....
Googled and found out what it means:
“The Humane Award honours certain bloggers who express kindness, mercy, caring and compassion for others, marked by an emphasis on humanistic values and concerns. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis."
  1. Accept and post the award on your blog.
  2. Link to the person from whom you received it.
  3. Pass the award to 5 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.
  4. Let them know they’ve been chosen for this award.

Ok... so now that i'v got this award, i'm tempted to share another story.... Will try to compose and post it soon.....

Now I award it to the following co-bloggers:

  1. Preeti
  2. Deep
  3. Chandu
  4. Ricky
  5. Madhava
  6. Pradeep (Ok, i'm passing it to 6 instead of 5, but i guess that's ok!)

I'd like to add another rule, enocuraging you guys to write a post on humanity of some kind.....


Sep 2, 2009

Indian Robin inside the room

Ok, so after these Indian robins flew off their nest, they are still seen around home, often. Though they do no even visit their old nest, they hang around on the same electric wire, on bushes in the neighboring vacant plots, on the terrace, etc. And they didnt seem to be too scared of humans, like some other birds.

One evening when i got back home after office, I started closing the window curtains. Our windows are covered by mesh from the inside and the glass pane mostly remains open. The curtains are kept open through the day, and i close them in the evenings. Now while closing the curtains, i saw some small black thing on the window grill. Looked into it closely and realised that it is the same little bird - Indian robin. Couldn't make out much since it was dark outside. Whew! I was wondering if the bird was asleep there, and it did seem it was.

I didnt want to disturb it, so put off the lights, kept silence and started watching it. No, it didnt seem to move at all. And putting on light again, making noise, moving the curtains too didnt have any effect. I went out, to have a look at it from the other, open side of the window, the place there is quite small and i was prety close infront of it. The bird didnt budge from the grill inspite of all these, and spent the night there. And it was gone by morning, by the time i woke up - er.... i wake up pretty late after the birds.

I was careful the next evening, and slowly watched it, and the same thing repeated. But it wasn't found there every night. Analysing the pattern, I guessed the bird spent the night there on rainy nights or when it seemed it might rain. This went on through out the rainy season - the little bird would sleep the rainy nights on my bedroom window, and wake up and fly off in the mornings. Switching ON the lights, pulling the curtains, talking inside the room did not matter to the bird in deep slumber.

The rains stopped, and so did the bird's sleep on the window. It didnt seem to visit its bedroom too. And it kinda faded off my mind too. After a month or so, we took off the mesh for a routine washing and cleaning process, completely oblivion of the bird. The windows were open too, for the whole evening. Late in the evening, i realized that i need to close the windows, lest there be hundreds of mosquitos inside the house. Came in to the room and pulled the windows one by one slowly. Before i pulled this particular window, there was a sudden fluttering and in a second a little bird was inside the room. And it was a female indian robin!

Oops..... I slowly went out of the room, trying not to scare the little one, got in Dee and inlaws to see what can be done to send it out. The bird was apparently confused, trying to search the way out of this unfamiliar interiors of the room. Hmmmmm... we first opened all the windows carefully, tied the curtains up, making the windows more visible and evident. It couldn't make out the way out since it was bright inside due to the lights, and dark outside.

We then thought putting off the lights linside, and turning on the lights outside would help, but it didn't. Once the lights were off inside, the bird became totally inactive, not even attempting to find the way out in the direction of whatever little light was present out of the window.

Hmmm... it became a huge task for us, not to hurt or further scare the already perplexed bird, and yet send it to its comfort zone. It would just fly from one corner to the other - on the ceiling fan, on the tubelight, on the attic, on my dressing table, and on the window pelmet - just above its window, yet not discover the way out. We tried making sounds from opposite direction, leaving it alone in the room, switching the lights on and off for sometime, all in vain.

Finally we gave up, and decided to let the bird spend the night in our room, with the windows open, and probably it would leave at dawn. And luckily after sometime of leaving it alone in the room with the lights on, it had somehow found its way out, and was again back to its deep slumber!!! And we had no choice but to sleep with the windows open, and without even the mesh on, but we were glad that the little avion was peacefully asleep just a few feet away from us :)
And the next morning, it was amazing to see the bird wake up to it's peers' chirping outside, just at dawn. The little bird saw this side and that, and then decided it should fly out... Jumped off a few inches and then off it flew into the open air into a new day.....