Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Set the Mood For Autumn: Welcome Fall

First chill; Small days... breezy and less bright; Series of holidays are around the corner.. "Navratra about to end, Dussehera about to come.. some of us waiting for Halloween some for Deepawali and some for thanks giving!!"

Lets set the mood and exchange some ideas which make this season more magical :)

DECOR: Try making small changes in the decor of your house which will add liveliness in your house and also lift up your mood. Various home furnishing items that you would consider while changing the decoration of your room with this fall include curtains, cushions, bed sheets, sofa covers, wall patterns etc.

For this fall season, use colors such as golden, green and orange for Curtains/Cushion/Febrics. These are very bright colors and make your house look beautiful. Bright colors flowers in your drawing and dining room make the place vibrant. Keep your flower pot with full of red, yellow or pink color flowers. Use some floral patterns on your wall, these types of patterns are currently in trends and make your room look beautiful. One can also use various paintings instead of new wall patterns.

Add mood lighting: With the daylight hours turning shorter and shorter every day, it’s time to strategically place some nice ambient lighting around the house. Mood lighting is the easiest and most effective way to cast a certain warm, friendly tone in your home, whether it is for you alone/family or for guests.

Some autumn scents: For a nice, cozy autumn scent that fills your home, try an easy and natural home fragrance instead. Place a small saucepan on your stove with a cup of apple cider and a cup of water. Toss in a tablespoon of ground cinnamon and a few cloves, and bring this to a simmer on your stove. As it simmers, it will fill your home with a warm, spicy apple pie scent.

Decorate with natural accents: There are so many cool and interesting things you can find outdoors in the fall to decorate your home. Take a leisurely stroll around your block or in a local park to go for a little treasure hunt. A basket filled with twigs and firewood looks pretty near entryway or next to the fireplace. A vase can be piled high with branches of colorful leaves. There is much to explore :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Navratri Festival

Navratri is a one of the important festival of India. It comes twice a year, once around March-April and the second time, around September-October. The nine days and nights of Navratri are entirely devoted to Mother Goddess (Devi Maa). Throughout this period people do, fasts, strictly vegetarian diets, japa (chanting mantras), prayer, meditation and recitation of sacred texts. Apart from this, there are a number of other customs and rituals as well, which are associated with the festival.

The main ritual of Navratri, celebrated on September-October, consists of placing images of Goddess Durga, in homes and temples. The devotees offer fruits and flowers to the Goddess. They also sing bhajans and do 'Dandiya Raas' and 'Garba Raas' in her honor.

Pleople exclusively worship of Goddess Durga (Goddess of energy and power). Each day is dedicated to a different appearance of Durga, namely Kumari, Parvati and Kali... There is also a custom of planting barley seeds in a small bed of mud on the first day of puja.

The ninth day is the final day of Navratri celebrations, which is also known as 'Mahanavami'. On this day, Kanya puja is performed, where nine young girls are worshiped  Each of these nine girls symbolizes one of the nine forms of Goddess Durga. The feet of the girls are washed, show respect towards them. Thereafter, the girls are offered food and a set of new clothes, as a gift from the devotees.

The tenth day is celebrated as Dussehra. On this day, devotees perform 'Saraswati Puja', for blessings of knowledge and mental peace. On this particular day, the burning of the dummy of demon king Ravana also takes place which symbolizes the victory of good over evil!

Mugdha Says:

This divine festival nourish so many good teachings;
Respecting Female power
Cherishing presence of Girl Child
Preyar for Energy and Knowledge
Celebration of Joy in monotonous life

It is something which we should practice all year long, not JUST FOR NINE DAYS SAKE!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mathura, India

Birthplace of Lord Krishna, Mathura is known for its culture and heritage and lies well within the golden triangle of Delhi-Jaipur-Agra. Mathura lies 55 km towards north-west of Agra in Uttar Pradesh.

The region is closely associated with the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Krishna is said to have spent his childhood and adolescence in Braj. Mathura is also sacred as it is believed a pilgrimage to the city guarantees moksha or salvation. According to Garuda Purana, Mathura along with Ayodhya, Avantika, Kasi, Puri, Kanchi and Dwarika are the seven sites which grant moksha.

Though the city is linked mainly with the life of Krishna, it is special even for Jains and Buddhists. Mathura’s holy ghats and serene banks of river Yamuna give a tranquil feel.

The festivals celebrated in the city revolve around the life of Lord Krishna. Janmashtami and Holi are celebrated with great fervor. Barsana, 27 km from Mathura, is renowned for the Lathmaar Holi celebrated in the village.

Mathura has a rich heritage. Mathura’s literature, songs, dance and cultural events revolve around the life of Lord Krishna. The culture of the people of Mathura is known as Braj culture. Rasiya, a tradition of folk songs that describe the bonf of Radha and Krishna, is an integral part of the festive celebration of Mathura. (Information based on talk with one of the Ashram Guru at Vrindavan).

As much as the city of Mathura is dominated by the Dwarkadheesh temple and the mighty river Yamuna, it is also home to the innumerable temples and shrines - many ancient, some others new – all of them together endowing the town with the distinct spiritual flavor that it is known for all over the world.

During the one day that we spent in the town, we managed to visit some of these holy places, in and around Mathura:

1. Shri Krishna Janma Bhoomi
2. Vishram Ghat
3. Dwarkadheesh Temple
4. Krishna Balrama Temple
5. Radha Madana-Mohana Temple situated near Kali Ghat
6. Radha Vallabha Temple
7. Seva Kunja
8. Radha Damodara Temple
9. RadhaRamana Temple
10.   Govindaji Temple
11.   ISKCON Temple
12.   Bankey Bihari Temple

Street food
* Suresh ke Mangode, Samose [Ghiya Mandi, Opp Bhargava Street] [aftre 5 pm]
* Bhagvan Das ka Bhalla [Ghiya Mandi, Opp Jain Street] [after 5 pm]
* Brijwasi Chat Wala [Near Khadi Ashram, Tilak Dwar] [after 5 pm]
* Om Pahlwan Kachori wala [Near Holi Gate, Opp Brijwasi Mithai wala] [8am -11am]

There are many other chat walas, it depends upon your taste. Peda (Sweet) is famous globally and it's worth a try. Mathura's Lassi (Yogurt-drink) is also well known.

Other Sight Seeing:

Vrindavan, Gokul, Goverdhan, Nand Goan, Barsana

From my own experience I can tell you, no matter how alienated you may feel when you reach there, just jump onto the street, mingle with the crowd and the rest will be taken care of.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Traffic Police Corruption

It happens very often that you got caught by a traffic police man for no reasons, they check your licence, RC or any other document and even if you pour them with all the papers suddenly (according to them) you forgot one document and it would turn out to be disaster for you. They will impose you with all kinds of fines unless you give them a 100-200 rupee cash.

After robbing you like this (for no good reason) they have guts to say; "What to do, inflation is too high and we have many responsibilities at home. They even tell you that same activity is going on ahead.. just don't stop your car and other officers will know that we have already served."

The whole system is sick and traffic police may be the most!! These incidences are very common in our country and a shame for society. If you try to argue with the cop even if you are not at fault he will behave with you in the most uncivilized manner you could think. They don't left any choice. They don't even care if you are alone or with family, they don't respect your profession, they character thieves.

Unfortunately we can only write our frustrations in blogs and spread it on social networking sites in India. But we cant stop corruption anyway. Proud to be an INDIAN...