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Haiku: Moment


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moonbeams and dewdrops

water of the pond reflects

footprints of fishes

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Durga Puja in Kolkata


Durga Puja, the biggest festival of West Bengal is just around the corner. In fact, the spirit of the festival is very much tangible long before it actually begins. The city of Kolkata, especially, goes through a complete makeover during the Puja season. Literally it becomes the ‘City of Joy’. Every nook and corner is decorated with lights to celebrate the arrival of Maa Durga, with her children, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartika, and Ganesha. The city throbs with delight. No Bengali ( or as it is called nowadays, Bong) is there whose heart doesn’t leap up with pure joy during the Puja season.

The grandeur, the awesomeness of the festival makes the whole city a dreamland. You can see the exact replica of the Sahara desert here and there is the Titanic, at a stone’s throw, trembling with the swirl of artificial waves. A plethora of ‘themes’ and intricate decorations of ‘pandals’ are sure to make you gawk in wonder. From the tribal motifs to the terracotta statues, from the filigree art to the Pipli work of Odisha, these ‘pandals’ are helping to restore many lost arts and thereby providing financial help to the artisans and workers concerned.

The extreme south of Kolkata boasts of some exquisite and reputed Durga Pujas which are really a treat to the eyes.
The Ajeya Sanghati Club , (established 1963) is undoubtedly the crowning glory of the mentioned area. This year, they’ve designed and decorated their ‘pandal’ with earthen lamps or ‘diyas’.  Millions of diyas, artificially lighted, has made the ambiance heavenly. Here are some exclusive pictures!

Ajeya Sanghati Durga Pujo, the 'pratima' (idol)

Ajeya Sanghati Durga Pujo, the ‘pratima’ (idol)

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The Idol of Devi Durga

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Inside Decoration of the ‘Pandal’

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Tall Earthen Lamps, waiting to get lighted

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The ‘Pandal’

Another reputed club of the same area, Putiary Club, they have used terracotta figures to instill a traditional effect in this year’s theme. The idol of Maa Durga, clad in a typical red-white traditional Bengal saree, doesn’t look wild and hostile at all. Rather she is the incarnation of eternal motherhood here.
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Idol of Maa Durga, Putiary Club

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Installation with metal sheets, Putiary Club

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Terracotta Statuettes

 

Naktala Udayan Sangha, an enigmatic Maa Durga , depiction of the force which stands against all odds. The theme here is ‘Titanic’. Artificial waves and swirls have been created withe the ingenious use of light and sound.

Idol of Maa Durga, Naktala Udayan Sangha

Idol of Maa Durga, Naktala Udayan Sangha

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Inside Decoration

Inside Decoration

These are just a few glimpses! Visit Kolkata, the city of joy during the Pujas and it will surely be one of the most memorable of your visits.

HAPPY PUJA TO ALL. STAY BLESSED. :-)

Weekly Photo Challenge : Nighttime


It’s true that we seldom click to take photos during night. Provided that we are not enjoying an adventurous night safari in a forest. Then also, we think twice because the nocturnal peace of the  animals might get perturbed by the random ‘click’, click’.

So, when I was searching for a suitable shot to post for this week’s challenge, frankly speaking, there were not much option to choose from. However, I picked this one.

I took this photo this year while visiting Alibaugh,Maharshtra. We were roaming lazily on the sea-beach, it was late evening and the crowd already had thinned. I spotted this hackney carriage ….the owner was perhaps waiting for some late evening tourists but he found none.

1-Mumbai 107http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/nighttime/

Kalakaar Colony : What’s in the Blog ?


The “Circle of Deceit” is now taking the shape of a whirlwind !  I’m participating in BlogAdda’s  #CelebrateBlogging with my wonderful blogger friends. Together, we are co-weaving a mystery fiction that will keep you hooked till the end. Read the previous part HERE

 

Jennifer was not feeling easy with her new discovery. The blog and the person behind it….together they were making her present predicament worse. She again examined the photo on the blog and compared it to the one on her camera. To her chagrin, they matched, there was no question of suspicion.

“This is making the situation worse, at least for me” she mused. “For if Mr. and Mrs. Dutta decide to take the case to the police, they would surely find out this  unwanted connection between  me and this man who has kidnapped the innocent girl….and they could even suspect that I have connived with this pesky guy and now acting spiffy to  save my own skin ! Oh! Jesus! Please save me” ….her eyes welled up thinking of the dire consequence.

Jennifer dialed Shekhar’s number only to get a boring engaged tone. After a couple of unsuccessful tries, frustrated, she began to explore that particular blog. Being a blogger, she knew that sometimes, knowingly or unknowingly, bloggers left clues in their writings which often had been helpful to reveal their actual self. Jennifer was frantically searching for something….a tiny clue or connection that could be helpful for her.

Most of the blog posts were book reviews and all of them were thrillers. In fact, Jennifer, in spite of her acrimony for the man, couldn’t help but confess that his reviews were impeccable. He, very convincingly, had dissected the plots to show the flaccidity and loopholes. Moreover, he seemed to have an excellent knowledge regarding legal matters. It was quite difficult to imagine that a person like him could involve himself in such skulduggery.

Jennifer was almost at the verge of losing her hopes to decipher anything from the blog that could help her to get an ace over the current situation. Just then her eyes caught another section of the blog apart from book reviews with the heading “Crime and Punishment”. With further enthusiasm she began to read the posts filed under the heading.

laptop-in-bed

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Back at Mr.Gupta’s bungalow ‘Shanti Niwas’, the sequence of events were not at all peaceful. Mr.Gupta was fuming after receiving Krishna’s call.  A prominent industrialist as he was, nobody ever had dared to usurp his plans in his life except one, Shekhar.

He gritted his teeth,“That twerp cast his spells first on Tara, and now he has brought my whole family in danger, including my precious pearl, ROOHI !!
The realization that someone else had abducted Roohi earlier had a maddening effect on Mr.Gupta. Roohi could have suffered a lot more if somehow Krishna failed to find her…..he just shuddered at the very thought.

Shekhar, unaware of all these clandestine connections, was hoping to hear a few words of reconciliation and accordingly, gathering all his courage he turned his laptop towards Mr.Gupta saying, “Look, I’m pretty sure that the man in these photographs taken by Jennifer is surely involved in the abduction.”

A stone cold gaze, accompanied with a guttural voice reverberated,”one more word and I’ll throw you out of my house ! the damage you’ve done to your family is irreparable but that  you can proceed no further ….I shall make that out for sure.”

That was enough for Shekhar. A tense father, who was  all worried for his daughter couldn’t take it anymore. Like a possessed person he came out of ‘Shanti Niwas’, his car engine revved up and he was heading fast…to a destination unknown.

Suddenly the phone rang. It was Jennifer. The conversation lasted for merely a minute and Shekhar, at a breakneck speed, headed for Jennifer’s hospital.

What did Jennifer tell Shekhar? Was she able to find the man behind the mask? Was it Cyrus or ……someone else?

Me and my team are participating in Game of Blogs at BlogAdda.com.#Celebrate blogging with us.

To know what happened next click  HERE

Level 2 of BlogAdda’s #CelebrateBlogging : All The Chapters of Team KALAKAAR COLONY 

Chapter 11: By Anu Lal
Chapter 12: By Dr. Manisha Tavate
Chapter 13: By Prasanna Rao
Chapter 14: By Keyur Seta
Chapter 15: By Maniparna Sengupta Majumder ( me)
Chapter 16: By Jigish Shah
Chapter 17: By Lakshmi Gandhi
Chapter 18: By Lakshmi Gandhi
Chapter 19: By Radhika Mundra
Chapter 20: By Dr. Sweety Shinde

Khajuraho, Where Stones Speak !


 

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The Khajuraho Group Of Monuments located in the Chattarpur district of Madhyapradesh (India) is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites which India has to offer to her visitors. The Hindu and the Jain temples located here display an array of exquisite erotic sculptures along with a detailed depiction of everyday life. Between AD 950 and AD 1150, these temples were built under the kind patronage of the Chandela rulers. Based on the Tantrik cult which was in vogue at that time, the impeccability and perfection of the sculptures are awe-inspiring. The name ‘Khajuraho’ has been derived from the Sanskrit words ‘khajura‘ meaning date palm and ‘bahaka‘ meaning the carrier.It is one of the heritage sites of India as declared by the UNESCO. Stretched along a vast area the temples are broadly divided into three groups, western,eastern and southern. There were about 85 temples of which only 25 ( or 22) have survived the test of time and from the invasion of foreign rulers.

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The outer walls of the temples contain erotic art and sculpture which have no involvement with the Gods and deities. It’s a common mistake that the erotica involves sacred heavenly  figures, rather, the depictions are created featuring the ‘apsaras’ or nymphs and their male counterparts. Even there are figures which  can be recognized as kings and queens. Though the sexual carvings often made people  think these temples as stone interpretation of Vātsyāyana‘s   ‘Kamasoutra’   but there is hardly any link. This burst of creativity , The Khajuraho, is a splendor in itself.

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It’s really a wonder how these temples had been sculptured so intricately and accurately ! I was literally stunned by the marvel which Khajuraho offers. Mostly sandstone was used to build the temples. The remarkable architecture has truly made it one of the seven wonders of India. There are temples of the Chausath Yogini , Brahma, Shiva, Varaha, Surya, Vamana and Vishnu. The technology and architecture used for building these temples were much ahead of the time.

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We asked a local guide about the existence of such erotic figurines on the outer walls of ‘temples’ , considered to be a holy and sanctified place. He said , ” bade bade log hazar baatein kehte hain, mujhe to yehi samajh mein aata hain ki ye tasviren kehte hain ke bhagwan ke mandir mein jaane se pehle sab basna  aur kamna bahar choDke jana chahiye” . ( Though historians have opined in a hundred different ways , but I think those figures depicted on the outside walls  instruct us to leave behind all the hedonistic pleasures before entering the main temple, or the sanctum sanctorum ). I actually contemplated on his theory and wonder how simply he showed such hermetic profoundness !

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According to another Hindu legend , the Khajuraho temples were built for Hemvati , a beautiful young woman whose beauty mesmerized the Moon God. To know more about the legend of Hemvati, you can go Here.

Nowadays, The Khajuraho temple complex offers a sonne de lumiere ( light and sound) show every evening with a narration by the Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan . Besides , every year the Khajuraho Dance Festival is organized at the temple complex. Khajuraho is  a place where everything is told by the stone sculptures. It’s a place where the stones speak.

Khajuraho is well connected with almost all big cities of India. It is connected to Delhi & Agra with regular flights. There are regular bus services from Mahoba,Harpalpur,Satna, Jhansi,Agra and Bhpal.

However, we took the rail-route and hired a car from Satna ( 117 km). The nearest rail-head at present is Mahoba (64 km ). Though Khajuraho has its own rail-head but  only a few trains have a stoppage at that point.

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Remembering Him



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Memories are enmeshed in our existence

Some are bitter, a lot more to cherish.

A whiff of some brings smile to our lips

Very few, we hope, will never perish.

A sudden downpour, drops of rain

An earthen pot, that taste of tea

Mingles with petrichor and that old me.

Memories,  flickering on and off

Like an old lamp with faulty connection

I still remember those deep gaze

Every new day serenades his resurrection.

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