15 April 2007

It's the New Year!!!

Spring time is festive time in India. Bangalore, in the past week has seen the arrival of mango showers, the name that is alotted to sudden rain in parchy summer weather that arrives along with the mango season to provide much much needed relief to evert one.

"Here comes mid-April... and welcome to the beginning of the traditional Indian New Year. It coincides with the first day of the Bikrami month of Vaisakha, which falls on the 13 of April every year, and on 14th April every 36 years.

The onset of Vaisakh is celebrated all over India under different names n rituals. N for Hindus following the Solar calendar, this day marks the beginning of the Solar New Year.

For the Budhists, a day of great importance, because on this day Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment under the Mahabodhi tree at Gaya.

  • Bihu: Rongali/Bohaag Bihu in Assam. Time to drink rice beer, gift gomoshas (hand made towels) to the elders, dance, sing n feast to the beats of dhol n pepa (buffalo hornpipe).

  • Naba Barsha: Ritual baths in near by rivers n pools. In Bihar, the festival of Vaisakh is celebrated in the honour of the Sun God is celebrated at a place cakker Surajpur-Baragon.

  • Puthandu and Pooram Vishu: Down south, it is the time to celebrate the Tamil New year (puthandu) n the Kerala New Year- Pooram Vishu. Celebrations include fire works, displays called Vishu-Kani and wooden-chariot processions.

  • Baisakhi: Moving north, this festival celebrated in great enthusiasm in Punjab and Himmachal Pradesh, where the rabi crop is ready for harvesting. In HP, it's also celebrated with the godess Jawalamukhi. On this day, melas(fairs) are held in most towns. Devotees visit gurdwaras and listen to kirtan (religious hyms) and religious discourses, following offerings of kara-prasad and partaking in langar (community meal). This festival being a harvest festival, it transcends religious divisions. It also has special meanings for Sikhs, as in 1699, Guru Govinda Raj, the tenth guru of the Sikhs, founded the Khalsa Panth (community of the pure) at Keshargh Sahib, near Anandpur."

(Gopal Piplani)

So happy new year, to those who celebrate it!! :)

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And a little extra on how festivals function in India. As most of the festivals follow the calendar, there is no one 'Hindu calendar' as such. The festivals celebrated can be divided according to states that use the solar calendar, and states that use the lunar calendar. For eg-

"The Tamil calendar is based on the Hindu solar calendar also used in Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Nepal, Manipur, Orissa and the Punjab. It in turn influenced the calendars of Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka and Thailand where the traditional new year falls around April 14 as well. The Hindu lunar calendar is conversely used in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra where the traditional year begins on the new moon preceding April 14." (wikipedia)

Modern day Gregorian calendar is an example of a Solar calendar, plotting days long sun cycles, while the Chinese n Islamic calendars, along with the Hindu Lunar Calendar are calendars that plot days alond the phases of the Moon.

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12 April 2007

Off Annie, Azim and Alliteration

Bend over and take it in the back like a good girl Annie.

And Annie got screwed.

Well, wasn't Annie happy?

It was a necessary evil for necessary pleasure.

There's aplenty that's necessary, bt at what cost or pain are you getting it?

And is it worth it?

*****

Azim Premji's little story....

A couple of alumni students met up at a professor's house to catch up. While they caught up on life and their work in general, conversation turned to bickering. As each student was tempted whine about their line of work, their cars, their house, their spouses. The quiet professor watching all of them left the living room and soon returned with a couple of cups of coffee.

There were expensive crystal cups, silver cups and exquisite cups... and also amongst them some glass cups and cheapo plastic ones. And each student picked their favorite form of glasses and just as they were to sip their cups of coffee, the professor looked at all of them...

And said, "As is human mentality, it's very likely that each of us wants what's best for us. WE picked the glasses that we wanted and liked, but what we really want, is to drink the coffee. Essentially, the cups are nothing but the holders of the coffee."

And so Azim says.. If the coffee is our life, and the cups are our societal holders, be what it may be... jobs, placements, success.... , it's best to always remember to compare our cups to the cups of others so much, that we forget to enjoy the coffee.

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