Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bee eaters.

Linking to Camera Critters

Mirabai Temple

Mirabai, the name itself fills me with reverence. It is not just her life and love for Krishna but also her simple poems. They fill you with such awe and tranquility and the love simply emanates from them. Meerabai's life story is that of riches to rags. Born a princess to her adoring royal parents and married to a king who loved and adored her, her love for Krishna preceded everything. So much that she lived a saint in her palace and then left everything for her love to live with beggars and the poor (a dishonorable act for a queen in her days). She was tortured and banished from the kingdom for the unconditional love for her Lord...... even made to drink poison but her love never left her. It made states and kings to bend their rules and laws. Mirabai redefined LOVE - that love cannot be bound by any boundaries and it surpasses all!!! Love knows no shame no right wrong..... It is sublime. You can read more about her here

This is the temple where Meerabai prayed and served her Krishna. Chittorgarh is her in-laws house. At first she only came down here to pray everyday. Then in the later part of her life she lived and served her Lord right here and then when her husband died, she was banished and wandered all over the country only to return here and it was here that she was given poison. Thousands throng here everyday to get a little piece of Meerabai. I did too!!! When I realised that I was kinda close to Chittorgarh. I changed my whole travel itinerary and drove 100's of miles to be there. You can't be in Rajasthan and not meet Meerabai.  As I stood before the altar (pic 3) was so enthralled and as I looked for signs and traces for her presence, the peace that dawned on me at that moment was unbelievable. I could sit there all day. 

I leave you with links to her poems in English and some with their translations in English:

Linking to Our World Tuesday, Tuesday around the world, Ruby Tuesday, Himmelsk#112, A piece of heaven

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Flower # 44..... Whats imp is what lies within

Took these pics of a lotus flower........ what I was not prepared for was the glistening pollen inside. It was a marvel of Nature's fine engineering.

The pollen inside!!!

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us” 

- Emerson

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sindoor Khela

Sindoor khela is part and parcel of the last day of celebrations of the Durga Puja. This is performed in front of the idol of the Goddess before she departs for her in-laws place. The sindoor (vermilion) is a mark of married life and applied on the forehead. On this day married women apply sindoor to the idol of the goddess and then every married woman goes around applying it on each other’s forehead and on iron bangles. The significance of this ritual is to pray for longevity of the life of the husband and peace and prosperity of the family. The color red signifies matrimonial bliss among Hindus. 

Hands making an "X" 

Dhunuchi Dance

Dhunuchi dance is a traditional dance usually done during pujas especially Durga Puja as part of the aarti. Men and women dance in frenzy on the sounds of the dhak (drum) carrying an earthen Dhunuchi which has some coconut husk which burns slowly in turn burning the frankincense kept on it. The result is a lot of smoke and lot of dancing. The dancers dance with more than two dhunuchis at a time : one in each hand and one in the mouth between the teeth. The dancers dance enthralled to the different tunes of the drum...... sometimes slow at other times faster. The dancing gets more and more vigorous as the night goes by and climax is something worth watching. I took these pics on a very high ISO because of the darkness and the smoke. Actually its a miracle I got anything at all !!! The dancers were so fast and there was absolutely no place to place a tripod. The audience clapping and closing in on the dancers did not help either. But very honestly you will enjoy more if you get to see it live. The dancers dancing..... the smell of the frankincense..... the sounds of the dhak........ the goddess smiling at you....... and the audience....... It was simply beautiful. I had an absolute fabulous time to the extent at times I forget to press the shutter. 

Here she has three dhunuchis : one in each hand and one in her mouth.