Puja at the village
This year during the Puja, I thought of spending some days in a village. I thought of spending some quiet hours in a noise-less, pollution-less place far away from the hustle bustle of city life. So I went to a village, and realised that gaon gaon na raha (with apologies to the immortal song: Dost dost na raha).
I had to spend three days and four nights surrounded by three puja mandaps blaring out three different kinds of songs (bhajan, Odia modern song, Hindi item number) the entire day and most part of the night. All puja mandaps were illuminated by electricity drawn illegally by hooking from the mail line. Small make shift shops selling paan, gutkha, bara, piaji, plastic toys mushroomed near the mandaps. The entire place was littered with soiled leave cups and plastic waste.
My hope for a quiet sojourn rudely shattered, I head back to my city life.
On Vijaya Dasami, Hindus usually take their vehicles to temples for a puja. As a ritual, two lemons are crushed by the wheels to 'ward off evil spirit'. Nobody is sure whether lemon juice can ward off evil spirit, but what is absolutely sure is that these lemons are wasted. The juice, rich in Vitamin C is splattered on the road.
Lemon is considered as an anti microbial spectrum against bacterial infections and fungi, effective against internal parasites and worms, it regulates blood pressure which is too high and an antidepressant. It combats stress and nervous disorders. Lemon juice is a proven remedy against cancers of all types.
Let us use the juice, instead of wasting it.
The Spirit of Cuttack
P-3, a bi-monthly English news magazine organised ‘Katak Carnival’ on 21 October on the occasion of their second annual function at Saheed Bhawan. For the first time I looked at the map of Cuttack city, printed on a large banner, which served as the backdrop of the stage.
The map of Cuttack looks like a person jumping from an aircraft or doing scuba diving. The carefree feeling of deja vu is the spirit of Cuttack. It has permeated into its very existence. There is no escaping from this 'devil may care' feeling, which triggers creativity. That is possibly why, Cuttack leads Odisha culturally.
Now that I have lost some weight (physically, not any other way), I am realising the worth of Dhoti. Shirt, Pant requires you to maintain weight, otherwise they will not fit. A sagging, ill-fitting shirt, pant does no good to your look. Dhoti or lungi has no such problem. Whether you are fat or thin- it fits. Always. The only problem with Dhoti is: you have to learn how to wear it; and keep it on. I'll have to do that. Lungi has no such problem. I wear it at home. I shall have to wear it on formal occasions- like most of the people down Vindhya do.