1 October 2006

AYUDHA POOJA

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AHHHHHHHHHHHH! October sun !, still so harsh and stinging, this is early morning sun here in Chennai, went to Pondy bazaar early in the morning to take some pictures, Special day. Today is Ayudha puja, a festival.


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The sun is harsh or soft, we need the sun, This is a tropical country, vibrating with countless forms of species good and bad, the sun takes care of half the disease spreading viruses. So the day begins with sooriya namaskaaram, sun worship, took this picture long ago, man worshiping rising sun on the River Ganges.


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Then to the temple to offer prayers, Today is Ayudha pooja, a week long festival, called dasehra in other parts of the country. It is called godess Saraswati pooja as well. She is the godess of knowledge, education or skill. So you worship all the holy scriptures, your books, the tools of your trade. Idea is, knowledge brings prosperity.


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Godess Saraswati is somewhere here, I think the one holding veena, a musical instrument., The one pouring gold coins out of the pot is Lakshmi, godess of money or prosperity.


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Godess Saraswati is giver of all the knowledge through your teachers. Here my friend Nirmal is teaching a bunch of village kids. Today is Nirmal's birthday, Happy birthday Nirmal !


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Main source of knowledge is holy scriptures, carefully preserved. This is ancient Tamil scripture written on palm leaves. Source of knowledge like Books, internet, yes pooja is performed on your computer as well. Studios where computer is a source of income. I have seen garlended computers. Red kunkumam on the CPU and monitors.


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When my computer went kinky, no technician could locate the problem, I was seriously contemplating bringing a faith healer perform a pooja, chanting of mantras and hitting the CPU with a broom. SHHOO SHHOOO BHISHOOOM !!!!


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House is washed and decorated, rich or poor, Here, this woman is drawing kolam.



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Prayers and pooja on tools of the trade. cameras, sewing machines, taxis, autos all commercial vehicles like trucks buses, bikes motor bikes TV radio, You name it, we worship it.



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You have to buy these things early in the morning, all the items used in poojas, lots and lots of flowers and other decotation material


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You find pooja material here.


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You need bags to put all the things you bought to decorate your house, this sweet lady is selling colourful bags.
What do we eat on this festival ? Well, nothing exotic, can't write a poem on it.
South Indian food is pretty exotic any day.
I was thinking of changing the template today. My next post will have a different template.

HAPPY AYUDHA POOJA to all of you, HAPPY LEARNING, Wish you all the knowledge in the world, and wish your knowledge bring prosperity to you
Love you all.

73 comments:

her indoors said...

thanks for dropping by.
what colourful photos
i have learnt something today thank you

Sangita said...

Back from delhi..was seeing all these garlanded vehicles on the road today.Now I get the reason :-)
I like the the cloudy template..Yeah me fine with no textlet me know how to place it in my blogspot ..Thanks :-) .(Wrote the same stuff in my blog comments..).

Cindy said...

Your pictures are always just bursting at the seams with life and color! I too have learned a little something today. As I've said before, I really love these glimpses of another culture and people.
I'm glad you are enjoying the photo tour of Letchworth.

FOUR DINNERS said...

happy thingy to you to mate. What is it? I just sat and stared at the pics. Felt like I was there. Magic stuff.

Rauf said...

Thank you HER INDOORS, Welcome to Dalight again. I missed posting pictures of another festival last month, called Ganesh Chaturthi. Too many things happening, never a dull moment here. India is a land of festivities and holidays, too many holidays, lot less working days. Next festival is Deepavali, a festival of lights, sometime next month. This is the beginning of rainy season here in Tamil Nadu, south India. Rain gods were too kind last year. Thanks for stepping into our part of the world HER INDOORS.

Rauf said...

Not happy with the picture Sangita, looking for more water and clouds, have lots but there are in countless CDs have to search, as you said I am perhaps interested only in thundering clouds. I'll finish it in a couple of days, please mail me as I have to give you the codes and the passwords.
Making it more blue is a problem, the text you type will not be readable. I'll try a bit more blue.

Rauf said...

North to south east to west, its all vibrant with colours Cindy, Too many places, too many festivals happening at the same time at different places. Same festival is celeberated in different style in other parts of India.

Rauf said...

Knowledge is given great importance here in India FOUR DINNERS, but you find ignorance everywhere, that is not our major problem. A handful of people who are damaging the country are highly educated, spreading hatred, causing communal riots, they take advantage of the ignorant majority.

Sangita said...

Hey I meant little less blue not more ;-)

mysti said...

Your pictures as usual talk for themselves. They are simply wonderful. You provide so much learning of another culture for others. I wanted to reach right into your pictures and touch, they are that good. Thank you for that. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Hugs and blessings to you.

Mysti

Ruth said...

I saw online that extra trains are running to Chennai during AYUDHA POOJA, Rauf. Is this the kind of holiday when people go to be with family? Or do they travel to the big cities to experience the festival? No special tribute paid to teachers? Just inanimate sources of wisdom and knowledge? So Nirmal doesn't get bowed down to this week?

Thank you for sharing the action, colors, commerce and smiles. I especially loved the holy Tamil text photos -- old books are so beautiful. All are wonderful pictures.

samuru999 said...

Rauf
Magical...as always!
Beautiful post!
Blessings on your holiday!
Thank you!

Margie

Rauf said...

Thank you Mysti, Friends have been bringing sweets, Can't really specity what special dish we eat on this festival, sweets are common for all festivals, same kind of sweets. Grand festival of Dasehra in Mysore is famous with decorated elephant procession, it has faded over the years. Things are looking good for India with software money coming in, but people are now more conscious, they prefer investing rather than wasting money on festivities. Younger generation is always smart.
But they are missing on Art literature and music, they have no time for it.

Rauf said...

Ruth, people are a bit disappointed this year as the holiday falls on a sunday and Gandhi jayanthi (Gandhi's birthday October 2nd) which is a National Holiday anyway. So they lost 2 days. Normally its a long string of holidays, people going away to their native places or away from the city. Travel has little to do with the festivities. All the trains are full month in advanve, so special trains are added. But the movement is more for Deepavali festival, as important as Christmas, can't even think of stepping out, this is the time where people really want to celeberate with their near and dear ones.

Rauf said...

Ruth Sorry forgot.
Here a teacher is as important as god. We touch the feet of parents and teachers, and no one else. Not even the priests. We are not supposed to sit at the same level as the teacher. We are not supposed to look in their eyes. a pupil's head is always down. The day of an apprentice begins with touching his master's feet. My teachers were my heros. some of my teachers and my headmaster used to come to our house to complain about me. They took personal interest in each and every student. I have never heard my nephew and niece talk about their teachers, they just didn't exist.

I teach graphics and portrait photography which is my area. i have never taken any money for it and I have never allowed my students to touch my feet. Nirmal by the way was my student turned friend, Nirmal and his sweet wife Sindu went to Bangalore for the holiday, all my students are my friends now. One of my student friend took me around the city yesterday to take pictures of the festivities.
Now I don't see teacher student relationship developing. Nobody talks about their teachers any more.

We are not supposed to keep our books any where near our feet or footwear, if you kick the book by accident you immediately pick it up and touch it with your eyes, a kind of apology, even if the book is daVinci code. When you are relaxing, you are not supposed to stretch your legs in the direction of the books. You can't throw a book, however trash it may be. You can't dump a book in gaarbage, you are supposed to burn it or gently place it on a river and let it drown. Tearing a book is an insult.

Rauf said...

Thank you Margie
Big festival of lights ' deepavali' is coming. we have just too many festivals. the charm is, Ramzan and christmas is not just for Muslims and Christians, they are national holidays in a predominantly Hindu country. Everybody enjoys. Everybody takes part in Hindu festivities. I have not seen this kind of religious freedom anywhere in the world. there are problems too, like communal tensions riots caused by self serving politicians. Intolerance is slowly creeping in.

dumbdodi said...

Hello Rauf
Great pictures...very real and colourful...enjoyed all the info you gave about the festival too...I am waiting for Diwali too...I love these months...festival season

Ruth said...

I forgot too, I meant to say happy holiday to you.

So deepavali diwali is the festival of light. Do people decorate with lights like Christmas?

Does it fall on the same dates every year? When will it be, you said it is coming up?

I like the sound of this holiday that celebrates unity in diversity. The world could use a universal holiday like that.

Rauf said...

Happy Dasehra to you Raadhika ! Actually missed many details about Ayudha Pooja or Saraswati pooja in the north. Here in south there is a 9 day long pooja (Navratri) at home around decoration and arrangement of dolls
called Kolhu. Different from Mysore and Calcutta,( I deliberately avoided any mention of Durga pooja I didn't want to scare my readers and stuck to godess Saraswati, where sources of knowledge and skill and tools of the trade are worshiped) Dasehra of Kulu valley is famous for its colourful Mela. I have seen Animal sacrifices in Kulu valley on my Himalayan treks 30 years ago.

Rauf said...

Thank you Ruth, Another disappointment for people here as Deepavali falls on a saturday, 21st October weekend, Monday in between a working day, Tuesday 24th is Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr (Ramzaan) So there will be mass absentees on Monday, all offices will be empty except for essential services. so Friday night to Wednesday morning People will be out of town. You can't get tickets, all the buses will be crowded with no elbow room.

Unlike Christmas, Deepaavali and Ramzaan are celeberated according to lunar calender. No fixed date every year. Ayudha puja, deepavali Ramzan Christmas is celeberated by every one, people participate in all festivals, they love long holidays. Christmas lighting is different. In deepavali you see oil
lamp ( deepam ) decoration and there fire works to go along with it. Children are advised in schools not to waste money on fireworks, largely to discourage child labour involved in making the fireworks.
I am not sure if it is a positive step. There's so much of poverty in
India, slapping a ban on child labour is very hard on poor people. Its a complex situation.

ufukhati said...

Rauf,

Life is so colourful and vibrant.
Happy day.

Rauf said...

Thank you Darma Mohammad

Nathalie said...

Dear Rauf
Thanks for visiting Sydney Daily Snap (have no idea how you got there); just been browsing through your photos and I'm flabberghasted. They are such wonderful pieces of art, bursting with colour and life... I'm jealous, terribly jealous, and I wonder why I bother posting anything at all. I'll come back for more. Keep feeding our eyes and soul. All the best,
Nathalie

Rauf said...

I am so glad you are here Nathalie,
4 in the morning and its raining, good news for rain starved city. Thanks for your patience, waiting for the page to load, takes ages, such a pain it is. I compress the pictures to breaking point. I visited your lovely blog through John's Melbourne daily picture site. Such beautiful pictures of Sydney you have there at your site, giving a unique perspective.
The only picture in my mind was the harbour and the opera house. Now I am getting to see Sydney through your imaginative mind. I am thinking of having one for my chaotic city soon. Thank you once again Nathalie !

Sangita said...

Rauf small question..Pic with books and where the lady before hut is making rangoli have some special effects I guess similar ones..U put the pics in photo editor and then do the desierd effects?? If not do u have any idea how can I do the same..Want to try it in one of my digicam pics

Rauf said...

photoshop Sangita, you can do it in windows paint as well, this is just diffused spray brush around the picture to give auspicious look. choose the colour, simple. The lady is drawing kolam on the ground. Kolam has many functions, made out of rice flour, essentially to keep the ants from entering the house. Now they use chalk powder.

Sangita said...

Now I get it why I can't find any of what u say..Microsoft Photo Editor has been discontinued as a Microsoft Office component as of Microsoft Office 2003..So I don't have those editing stuff..Let me find out where I cna get this.. Thanks for the tips..I thought kolam and rangli were similar though..BTW I also tried a template with Pannasmontata..Check out http://sangitatest.blogspot.com/
Need to do some more work..Not as good as you. as I am not able to modify it like changing pics and all..Let's see

Rauf said...

yea checked, looks good, please make it personalised, some fresh ideas, I'll show you by the evening

Suji said...

Your pics are just awesome, so colorful. Its amazing how you find great pics in even simple day to day things. Happy festivals. This is the best time of the year isn't it, with festival spirit all around. I just love it. :)

Sangita said...

Checked http://tappal.blogspot.com/
Looks good..Image at top is cool..But is it getting diffused..I mean less clarity..I think we need to minimize the size..And please take ur own time..There are no deadlines here he he..Trying my handa at this photoshop..Will post the pics just like that in my blog..

John - Melbourne said...

So much colour on one page, I'm so jealous of your colourful traditions! Great shots! Well done Rauf.

Candy Minx said...

Overwhelming exotic beauty! What a market. I love the flowers attached like a garland. I love the pictures of the goddesses. I just posted some links to ragamala paintings (at my friend Mister Anchovy blog)where there seems to be instruction on music in them. A lot of Indian art seems to inspire instruction and teaching and learning Rauf?

Rauf said...

Thank you Suji, Oh yes this is the best time. In Tamil Nadu it is till the end of January. Did you go anywhere ? Deepavali and Eid are coming and in between there is one working day. I see my friends planning and booking tickets. All days are sundays for me anyway. This is what we call 'season' Hope the season brings you and your family all the joy and fun Suji.

Rauf said...

Sangita, you are right, changed the clouds, please check. I have thousands of pictures all are threatning and thundering clouds, Dadagiri dikhaane' waale' clouds, not one decent harmless good looking clouds I have. Any way working on silk as well I'll have it ready today.

Rauf said...

John, I sincerely believe that any part of the globe has something unique to offer, music art, literature folklore myths. MCG is most colourful during the onedayers. and Bali is a dreamland for me. For you its just a hop.

ari4u said...

Rauf, no matter how far i go, your posts always bring me back right to the center of action where i once was. Very colorful. Lovely post.

The pictures you saw on my blog are not from a real Tahitian wedding. Polynesian Cultural center in Hawaii has exhibits and shows from all islands of polynesia. The pictures were taken at the Horizons show at PCC where the Tahitian wedding was enacted. You are right, it is a tourist oriented show.
Take care

Rauf said...

Candy, nature forces us to adopt a particular way of life. All the cultures of the world are influenced by what nature offers locally and according to the local climatic conditions. We watch what elders practice. Accept a few reject the rest. But in India there is a lot of blind following.
Art and architecture transforms the viwer, sometimes inspiring, Taj Mahel for instance. I have posted pictures of Taj Mehel on some vague topics, I think I have not written a post on the Taj. I'll do it in a couple of weeks. Have detailed pictures.

Rauf said...

Aamir, I do not know how far this blogging is going to take us. The space is free now and they may start charging. That would be the end of my blog, or the Governments may slap restrictions, censorship or ban them altogether. Until then we have to use this space with utmost care and responsibility.

ari4u said...

Rauf, i meant... No matter how far i go away from home... your posts always bring me back close to it.

Rauf said...

haha Aamir, did I say anything otherwise ?

sandy said...

If I ever get to South India, it will be in October! The women's clothing is so beautiful, I wish it was the style here

Red said...

Hi Rauf, I came via Candy Minx. Your photos are amazing, what a riot of colours. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Rauf said...

Sandy, festival season in Kerala is September, In Tamil Nadu its October. I live in Chennai, cultural capital of India, Lots of music and dance festivals in December January. Generally October to mid February is good season here, after that it gets pretty hot. Same for Goa if you love beaches. Lots of beaches in the south, stay in well maintained cleaner beaches is pretty expensive. But there are cheaper places too. Please avoid booking on the net. Welcome to India Sandy.

Rauf said...

Hi Red, welcome to Daylight again, Oh yes I read your comments on Candy's blog with great interest.
India is a land of extremems, you'd love it or hate it, chaotic but colourful, not a dull moment, depends on the attitude, if you forget yesterdays bad experience, you'll find today more colourful. Being a local I've had my share of rough experiences too. I am a complete foreigner just a 100 miles away. Thank you so much for stopping by Red !

Lord Boo said...

awww, good ol' Dussehra ! still remember the times when, in Nellore, some people would go around homes, dressed up as characters from Ramayana, and collect alms. I used to nervous about the Hanuman character, wondering if he would set fire to our home, if we don't give him money !! silly me ! i think it's called Navratri up north, and there's more celebration up North than in South. They have dances every night and poojas too ! brought back old memories, Poms *hugs*

Rauf said...

Aree meri piyaari boo, oh yea more colourful celeberation, Ramlila, Durga pooja in Calcutta,
Never heard much of Andhara, want to go there again. Never stopped at Nellore, I'll go to Aggad's house, give me the address. With all the heat and dust, garbage and bad roads there is some charm which keeps me close to India. I can afford to be lazy here, sort of a blessing, as I cannot afford to be poor and broke in a cold country. Me so nervous about your first winter in England boo, me so worried.
All my love
Hugs

FOUR DINNERS said...

Rauf, picked up a comment on why you never married on another blog. None of my business but bullshit mate. Yer a good man. It comes across clear as day. Yer'd have been a good man if you had 'n all.
You take care n keep these magic pics comin'.

Gangadhar said...

Amazing pics,Rauf..quite colorful!!
Here in hyd we had a grand celebration on Dusheera..But i found the real celebration here..thank you

Rauf said...

Personally I have led a happy life FOUR DINNERS, no regrets. Good friends like you made my life worth living.

Rauf said...

Its been nearly five years since I've been to Hyderabad Gangadhar.
I love the food and the atmosphere in the old city is simply electric.
Never been there during any festival, Any normal day around Charminar area is like a festival

Imemine said...

I think we should go back to worshipping the sun. Then there will be more light on earth.
Again, many great pictures of beautiful India.

Rauf said...

I would pray for softer sun Imemine, Beginning of October and the sun is still harsh. Here in Chennai rain worship would help. Good news for us, It has started raining here and 2 in the morning it is raining now, I can hear the soft thunder. At times there was no rain for three years in a row, Throwing the city in accute water scarecity, water is still brought by trucks, The truckers making lot of money, Situation eased last year when rain gods were too kind on us. Kerala is lucky to have plenty of water.

"Angeldust" said...

HAPPY AYUDHA POOJA dear Rauf

I most enjoyed your photos and story telling. Lovely!
What a magical time this must be.

I can imagine PCs decorated and also you getting a healer for yours - as I often believe myself it is "moved" by some spirit...

Thak you for your comment, it was very insightful - you actually read my mind - left quiet a lenghty response for you.

Love and joy to you.

Cynthia said...

Is beautiful..
I love the looks of India, and i hope to one day visit.
thank you ,
Cynthia

Rauf said...

Thanks Angeldust, yes I read your response.

Yes this is a festival season, lots of shopping and there is no space to walk in the shopping areas. This is going to be some thing very hard for you to believe. We have many jewellery showrooms here (your area of creativity and imagination Angeldust) gold and diamond or other fancy stones jewellery. It is just impossible to enter these showrooms. Chairs are provided outside these showrooms for you to wait for your turn to enter.

Rauf said...

Welcome to Daylight again Cynthia,
and most welcome to India, this is the best time to visit, festival season. You'll love it if you can deal with chaos and crowd.

Lord Boo said...

awww don't worry dear Poms, i bought myself a pair of warm gloves today, and also, i've stocked up some coats and other warm clothes for the winter, so hopefully my body should have adapted slowly to the cold. I love this template ! i love the green leaf with the hanging dew drop that you work on ! it's one of my favourite favourite pics of your's :) *hugs*

Lord Boo said...

hehe, just saw the clock ! it looks like a mentos chewy thing :D so cute !

Anonymous said...

Raufy giraffe,
wonderful portrayal of ayudha puja celebrations. Where are u lost, into your computers. I dont even catch u these days on a chat! when is Ramzan, Save some sewain for me and kids.
Chubbanna

Rauf said...

Aiyoo Sorry dee booey ! me missedoo the comment completely.
and don't forget to collect pound coins !

Rauf said...

EEEEEEEE chubbanna dee Whattoo
me here vonlee I comees your houj before deepavali, keep some rasam ready
all my love

medha said...

i was going to ask you permission to use some of your flower seller and pondy bazar photos to paint, but you are extremely generous to give permission even before asking. thank you so much. if something good comes out of my effort, i will send you images.
thanks again..

avagdro said...

Thanks Rauf for sharing.Great festival pictures indeed.Wish you n all a Happy Diwali ahead.

Cheers!!
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disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

rosy said...

Thanks for the sharing.. web template

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INDIAN COOKING said...

yes great pictues... i got my experience back when i am seeing your post because my brother used to sell garland when i was 10th class...any way nice sharing...srinu
lakshmi

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