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Thursday, September 27, 2012

The auspicious Ganesh Utsav---Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!




The 10 day festival of  Shri Ganesh Pujan is here again!
 Celebrated throughout India, with full devotion and enthusiasm, it is one of most popular festival among every age group. Everyone is involved in decorations and arrangements to welcome the cutest Ganesha idols.
When I was at Bombay, I was so much influenced by the ten day festival, even I started to bring the Ganesha idol home.
 I have been doing this since the last ten years or so and each time there is renewed enthusiasm in the family.  We clean and decorate our homes. And the place, where we will install the God for the 10 days celebration. The wonderful and well sculpted idols are so cute.
And after the Pran pratishtha, (invoke or call the God by our prayers), we feel the God is sitting in front of you.
 We talk to him, share our worries and problems and seek his blessings to get our problems solved by his Divine grace.

Every day we  prepare sweets like Laddoos, Gujias, Modaks,  Malpuas and many other sweet and delicious recipes, which he might like and we imagine, he is loving it.

 It's a great feeling--the feeling, as if we are feeding the God. Whereas the fact is that the God is feeding us.
 But that is Bhakti--'Devotion' in its simplest form.
 And as we have read in our holy books---God is impressed only by 'Bhakti'--'Devotion.'
May Lord Ganesha bless everyone!


Chitrangada Sharan
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Tribute To The Teacher----Teacher's Day

गुरु  गोविन्द दोनों खड़े ; काके  लागू पाये,
बलिहारी गुरु आपकी ; गोविन्द दियो बताये।
-----संत कबीर

Saint Kabir glorifies the Guru or the teacher by this verse. Simple meaning is that if the teacher and the God, both are standing in front of me, whom should I pay my respect first, by touching their feet.
Then he answers that it has to be the Guru or the teacher, because without the Guru, how would I have recognized the God.


 Teachers play a vital role, in building the personality of boys and girls, thereby making a valuable contribution to the society at large.
  All over the world teacher's are paid respect, by celebrating Teacher's day.
 In India, it is celebrated on 5th of September, the birthday of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan--an academician, a philosopher, former President of India and above all a teacher.
A teacher is a person, who not only  teaches a subject, but one who is a friend, a guide--the one who cares like parents.
There must be a strong bond between the teacher and his student.
 A good teacher never looses his patience and makes all efforts to clarify all doubts of his students.
 A true teacher motivates the child, not only in his academics, but prepares him to face the challenges of life.
 The teacher identifies  the positive points of the child and helps in nurturing them.
Having the quality of a good teacher and a good student is not so easy.
But, India is a country, where we have a very strong, Guru-Shishya Parampara. 

So do not forget to say a big 'Thank you' to your teachers, on Teacher's day and always!


HAPPY TEACHER'S DAY.

Friday, July 6, 2012

WELCOME RAINS!

Welcome Rains!     
After a long long wait, the monsoon showers have arrived in Delhi, bringing the much needed relief from the intense heat and humid weather.
How the rain affects our senses!
The whole atmosphere has changed. Everyone has a smiling face and a happy heart. 
 Looking out from the balcony, watching the tiny droplets, gently and evenly flowing from trees, leaves, roof tops, ---it is such a wonderful sight; and what a wonderful feeling!
The cute and tiny droplets slowly wash away all your worries and anxieties.
 Looking out at the dark clouds, pouring water droplets, gives a feeling, as if I am communicating with the heavens.
 Every one looks happy--small children, school kids--smiling for no reason--people,  even the animals, the birds and the plants.
The winds blowing gently along the freshly bathed flowers and trees, spreading a definite fragrance---the unmistakable fragrance of rain soaked soil---just magical!
This is the time of the year, when  you spontaneously start humming a song, not to please anyone else but because your heart is happy!
Time for Pakodaas and Chai.
Enjoy the Rains.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Full Moon Day with a difference--Guru Purnima!

                                                           


  •    Today is Guru Purnima---a day meant especially to pay gratitude  to your Guru, the teacher.
  • The full Moon day in the Hindi month of Asadha, is celebrated as Guru Purnima.
  • It is in fact to  honour  the great sage Vyasa, the ultimate Guru, that this day is named in his memory and we see his reflection in whoever is our Guru.
  • Now, who is a Guru?
  • Anyone who imparts knowledge that is 'Gyaan' or teaches you something, is a Guru.
  • It is with the guidance of the Guru, that you are able to understand and connect with the Almighty.
  • And  The True Guru imparts knowledge to his/ her Shishya  selflessly.
  • So, do not miss the opportunity and the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima to pay your heartfelt respects to your Guru, who has shaped you as you are.
  • Of course, your mother is your first Guru. She teaches you to talk, to walk, to eat--in fact everything controlled by the sensory organs.
  • She builds the very foundation of your being, your character. 
  • Your father has as much role in shaping you as an ideal human being as your mother.
  • All through our lives we are guided by our parents, to follow the path of truth by means of patience, hard work and sincerity.
  • No prayer can be complete without feeling grateful to your parents. 
  • Then you have your teachers at school, at college, who support your hard work to shape your career  and feel so proud and happy to see each one of you achieving an identity of your own. We should never forget their contribution in our lives.
  • Then you have your grandparents,  brother, sister, wife/ husband, in laws, your extended families,  friends and even children who teach you or inspire you to learn something or the other.
  • Be grateful to each one of them.
  • Because a Guru is someone, who teaches you something, without any self interest. 
  • Today is the day to feel obliged and show gratitude to everyone who has touched your life in a positive way.
  • It is our duty to sincerely thank all of them.
Isn't it great that we have one day especially  devoted to  show our respect to the------- Guru.
Wish you all a happy and blissful 
GURU PURNIMA!

Chitrangada Sharan




Chitrangada Sharan
image source: Google images

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fabulous tour to Lugano, Switzerland!











Everyone dreams of visiting Switzerland, at least once in a lifetime. I also had a desire to go to Switzerland once, and the dream became true. The pleasure was at its peak as it happened along with whole family.
Lugano is a city, in the south of Switzerland, which borders Italy and lies along the lake Lugano. And what a lake! I have not seen such a vast lake in my life. Surrounded by mountains, and a splendid lake, Lugano is a tourist's delight. The atmosphere was wonderful. There were large number of water sports available. We opted for a motor boat, which my son drove. Once you are there, you do not want to come back. All along the bank, there are beautiful people sitting and enjoying with friends and family. There are very tidy streets, fashionable stores, excellent buildings all along. All through the train route, the landscape is so refreshing and soothing to the eyes.
Wish, could have spent more time at Lugano.









Monday, June 11, 2012

The Memorable Family Holiday At Italy









A country which has ancient as well as modern buildings to boast off--- a place full of art, artists and architecture--a place rich in beautiful landscapes. Yes, we spent six memorable days at  Italy.                                                                
  First of all we landed at Rome, the ancient city, eternally beautiful and unique. We saw  the breathtakingly splendid  architecture and sculpture,  ancient monuments such as the Colosseum and the majestic Vatican city.  All along we had our heads turned up, appreciating everything. Even the streetlights had an artistic touch. We took a tour of the city Rome in the Hop on Hop off  bus service with an open top which allows you to enjoy the full view through the heart of the city all along its route, and we  did not stop clicking pictures even for a minute. Every building was beautiful with wonderful artistic finish. The awesome Trevi fountain was crowded with people, tourists from so many countries. So, even Italians believe that dropping coins in a water body brings good luck like us, the Indians. People all round the world are emotionally the same.
Florence is another beautiful place of Italy. Walking through the  historic lanes of Florence, you come across the world famous Galleria dell Academia, which impressed us for its artistic excellence.  You come to see many big and small replica of the the world famous David, by Michelangello in the many lined up shops there.
From Florence we took a guided tour to the district Tuscani, to see the strange leaning tower of Pisa, an engineering marvel or an engineering blunder. Around the leaning tower of Pisa, there are beautiful monuments, you can not take your eyes away. There is lot of history attached to this place, but we were more interested in the visual delight of the place.
Where Rome had ancient monuments, Milan seemed very modern and fashionable. No doubt, it is called the fashion capital of Italy. Skyscrapers and fashionable malls, beautiful people-- Milan is wonderful.
Talking about food, the Italian cuisines are famous all over the world. But, Pizza at Italy was different, with a thin crust, very nicely cooked and tasted heavenly. After all it is their special cuisine. The Pasta and Gilato tasted delicious. There was so much variety in sea food, in pizzas, in the famous wraps.
Coming to Venice, I had never imagined Venice to be like this. I mean I had read, that it is a city of canals, but my God how do you feel when you realize you are surrounded by waters and you have to commute by water taxis and water buses--simply exciting and strange and very romantic. We took a water taxi to reach the airport of Venice, it was a never to forget lifetime experience. And there is the famous romantic Gondola ride in the Venice lanes, Venice ki galiyan all along the palaces of the Grand Canal. There is music, there is love in the air. I could not help humming Asha Bhonsle's famous song, Do labzon ki hai, dil ki kahani, ya hai mohabbat, ya hai jawani----, picturised on Amitabh Bachchan and Zeenat Aman, at the famous Gondola.
We did not realize, how much time we spent at the St. Mark' Square, it is simply out of this world. And then we sailed in a motor boat to the islands Murano, famous for its glamourous glass work, Burano, famous for its lace work and colorful fishermen houses and Torcello, for its ancient cathedral.
It is difficult to describe the beauty of Italy in a few words, but one thing is clear, why so many people recommended to visit Italy. You have to be there to experience the nostalgia.




Chitrangada Sharan

Monday, May 7, 2012

At last something worthwhile!

                                                                                                             Watched the Aamir Khan show,' Satyamev Jayte' on television on Sunday. Must say, it touched my heart . It must have had the same effect on  other viewers as well. Aamir was right in saying,' DIL PE LAGEGI TO BAAT BANEGI.' We were all expecting it to be good and so it was. The fact and figures of the female foeticide are terrifying and depressing.
It is commendable that a celebrity is trying to draw attention of the people, on a national channel of the worst social evils of our society. Everyone should take a note of it and try to root out this particular evil of female foeticide.                                                                                                                                                           It is not that we are not aware of this menace.of our society. The real challenge is to change the mindset of the people. How far these shows are successful in bringing about that change is yet to be seen. Many social activists have been trying to bring positive change in this regard. But the fact remains, when a celebrity speaks, people do listen.
I hope many more meaningful and worthwhile shows are telecast on our T.V. channels. This should be shown in the areas worst affected.
Chitrangada Sharan

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Its Summer season-- take care!

The summer season has set in and that means more care about your skin, your diet and general health. People who have to remain outdoors for their work or school or college must gear up to tackle the scorching Sun and heat.
Indian Summer  starts almost from the month of April and extends up to June. Though people around the world are quite scared of Indian Summers, I think a little bit of planning, precaution and preparation can make even their summer trips to India quite enjoyable and memorable.
Keep yourself hydrated:
Remember to carry your bottle of water, juices, lemonades etc. along with you, when you are travelling. Eat fruits which have lot of water content in it, for example, water melon, cucumber, oranges, coconut water and many more like them.
Eat light:
It is advisable to eat light and easily digestible food in summers. Say no to oily, greasy and spicy food. Avoid eating out and carry your own fresh  home cooked food. The food available outside may get stale due to the heat and might upset your stomach if consumed.
Take care of your skin and hair:
You must cover your head with a cap or take an umbrella to avoid direct Sun heat. For the skin wash your face with cold water and apply rose water and sandal powder paste. Both keep skin cool. Applying Neem leaf paste can cure small rashes which might occur due to Sun heat on the face. It is not wise to apply heavy make up in Summers.
Wear light cotton clothes.
So, gear up and  enjoy the Summer season with juices, mangoes and  lot many fruits.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Preparing for Summer Holidays!

The final examinations being over and the results out. What most  of the parents and their children must be having  in mind--of course the long Summer holidays. I am sure, most people must have planned some thing in advance. Because prior planning is very important, whether you are going for a vacation with family, or you  intend to send your child to a Summer Camp, or still another option engaging your children in music, dance or some other creative courses.
Holidaying is very important for everyone to relax and break the monotony of your office work or school. It rejuvenates and fills us with renewed energy, much needed to perform better.
Selection of the place, the bookings of tickets and hotels should be done quite in advance to avoid any inconvenience whatsoever. There are many travel agents to manage that. Internet is quite helpful  in giving the information, but personal meeting with the travel planners is a must. It is very important to ensure the genuineness of the travel agents.
You must also gather some information of the place you are going to visit, for example, the climate conditions, food choices, important sites to be visited, mode of transport and so on.
It is a good idea to carry a note pad to note down important and interesting facts about the vacation destination. Travel light and wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Chitrangada Sharan

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A trip to Haridwar..

Haridwar - Har ki pauri
Cool breeze, the melodious sound of the flowing water, the serene surroundings, the bank of the pious river GANGA----------the feeling was heavenly, when I visited Haridwar along with my family last Sunday. You have to visit the place , be there to understand what it feels. You do not desire anything ---you feel peaceful and content, no worldly worries seem to bother you. You forget all stress, all anxieties------.The only desire you have is to look at the flowing Ganga and feel God's presence all around. It is a different world from the one in which we live.
Chitrangada Sharan

Thursday, January 26, 2012

SALUTATIONS TO THE MOTHERLAND !

Although  INDIA  is  a  country , where  each  day  is  celebrated  like  a  festival, no  festival  can  be  so  inclusive  like  the  one  today------
                          the  Republic  day  of  India!                                   

When  each  of  its  citizen  joins  the  celebrations  with  equal  enthusiasm  and  pride.
When  I  come  to  think  of  it , it  is  difficult to  decide , as  to which  are  the  things  I  should  feel  more  proud  of------
---its  unity  in  diversity;
---its  rich  cultural  heritage;
--- Its  mighty  Himalayan  ranges  in  the  north;
--- the vast  and  never  ending  sea   coasts;
--- Its  humble  rivers;
----the  great  Indian  deserts;
The list goes on-----!
The  average  Indian  with  deep  family  ties , having  the  capability  to  adjust  and  come  out successful in dealing with all  sort  of  adversaries  is  perhaps  the  most  important  strength  of  our  country.
Shedding  all  the  differences , when  the  pride  of  the  country  is  involved and  march  behind  the  National flag, is  perhaps  the  most  commendable  trait  of  the  Indian  people.

                              HAPPY  REPUBLIC  DAY!                                

Chitrangada  Sharan.
26th January, 2015

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