Thursday, 17 September 2020

That Wooden Chair

Rizzy answered the bell to find a strange looking person standing at her door. 

“I want that wooden chair.”

“Which one?”

"The one in your attic.” 

Rizzy was startled. 

“What about it? Wait! How do you know about that wooden chair? And that it’s in the attic?

“I scanned a while ago.”

Image - Roger Bultot











“It’s no longer here. Just left it in the backyard for disposal.”

Friday, 11 September 2020

The Holiday

She was taking a vacation after almost a year after the death of her partner. 

She had no clue why she had chosen that place for a holiday.

The solo-traveller started feeling secure the moment she landed at Down Island. 

A souvenir store near her hotel caught her fancy.

She wanted to visit, but it was closed. 

Pic - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

On the day of her return, she was thrilled to see the shop was open.

Self Love


 "Main apni favourite hoon" (I am my favourite) 

- Geet in the Hindi movie "Jab We Met"

How many of us have said the above line or believe it? Do we focus on "I, Me, Myself"?

Serve, Service

We are taught to think of others and serve.

Thinking of self is being selfish, isn't it?

But, trying to make life easy for others is a never-ending job as human wants and expectations are unlimited. One can never satiate all the desires of others.

Rather than looking for validation from others, one can and must say some encouraging words to self. 

Why will others want to have a relationship with us, when we are not comfortable with our own self?

Some people cannot even spend a few minutes alone. What demons disturb them? 

Living with and loving own self is a continuing love-story with no rivals as it is rare to get someone who loves us more than we do!


Soul and Super Shakti

There is a lot within us. There's heaven and hell... The power or "shakti" within us is great.

As per the Bhagavad Gita, we are not the body; rather the soul or the spirit within. This is energy spanning several lifetimes. The supreme Godhead has the super shakti. 

The focus must be to recognize this and change things inside of us, if and when we feel something is amiss, so that the outside gets changed too. 


Service Before Self and Sacrifice

We are taught expected to uphold- "Service before self".

That is the motto of the Indian Army as well. They sacrifice themselves for us, our country and our countrymen without thinking of their personal lives.

"Mother and motherland are greater than heaven." 

Mothers are great examples too. They think of their children and family totally sacrificing self love and time.

Just focus on self or take care and act for the larger good? Love has to start from someone or somewhere. Why not pat our own back and transfer or shower the love and energy like a chain? 

When there's sacrifice or sharing of self and self love, there is divinity as the higher power is automatically invoked. God is watching. Let us improve our quota and score.

If each of us worked did this, our nation and world will be great.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

The Assignment

It was her first job assignment abroad.

She had been asked to report about a departmental store- Haldey's.

As a mystery auditor, she knew her job.

The client knew her caliber. 

They were spending a lot for her trip.

Pic - CEAyr

While she was clicking photographs, an elderly gentleman called out asking her if she can help him shop.

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Siri was showing her old family album to her grandchildren.

"And this used to be my home when I was a little girl," she said.

Her youngest grandson four-year old Pilu showed extra interest.

Image
PHOTO PROMPT - Ted Strutz

"What about the swing on the mango tree?" he asked.  

Siri was astounded.

Friday, 14 August 2020

Real Weaver of The Maths Saree

A "Maths Saree" was in the news recently. There are mathematical symbols and equations all over.

Padma Shri actress Vidya Balan had worn it for the promotion of her Hindi movie- Shakuntala Devi.

If you are a handloom lover, you would not have missed this news as it brought a smile to many faces.

The Sambalpuri Saree connection with Team Vidya Balan had been done by my sister, Amrita Sabat, through our brand Utkalamrita of our company Sabat Exports Pvt. Ltd. Information about the Saree - weaver's name from whom Saree was sourced, village name, district name, and other technical details of the Saree had been shared. Amrita had also requested their team to share a video message for our weavers, which Vidya Balan graciously heeded. 

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Cupid Is Mine!

Rizy walked into the Gifts Shop.

As she started looking at the stuffed-toys, the salesman handed a sweet Cupid with bow and arrows.

Rizy loved it!

Hugging the toy, Rizy said, "Cupid Is Mine!"

Image
Pic- Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Naked Truth - Star And Sweet

naked truth

Plain unadorned facts, without concealment or embellishment. For example, What I've told you is the naked truth. This expression supposedly alludes to a fable in which Truth and Falsehood went bathing, Falsehood then dressed in Truth's clothes, and Truth, refusing to take another's clothes, went naked. [Late 1500s]
                                                                                                  - Definition in Dictionary.com

The reason for asking the above questions about "naked truth" is as I am totally baffled with what is going on.

Let us take a Star and a Sweet for example.
Star- Sushant Singh Rajput 
Sweet- Rasagola 

Star
It was declared that Sushant Singh Rajput, a top highly talented and promising Bollywood actor, has "committed suicide" on July 14, 2020.

We trust the police and thought that their statement is true.
I could never believe that one of my favourite stars, who has such a positive outlook and spirit could ever do so.
The same thoughts had come to my mind when I had learned of the so-called "suicide" of Sunanda Pushkar.

But, now we know that both these "suicide" cases, and many other cases like this, are actually made to appear in such garb.
Within a few minutes of Sushant's mysterious death, despite the police knowing the truth and technical flaws in the suicide theory, they never gave an inkling of the reality- that SSR has actually been murdered.
The "suicide", mental health", "depression" news was made to spread like wildfire.
So many social media posts, videos etc now have the wrong news- suicide theory.
Problem is replication as whoever sees such wrong info in the future, continues the same theory...

I pray that may the killers of Sushant Singh Rajput be nabbed and punished and may our star get justice soon.

Sweet
It is being constantly declared for many years that the king of sweets, Rasagola or Rasgulla (or spelled in any which way- Rasagulla/Rasgola/Rasogolla/Rosogolla...) is "invented" in Bengal.

Odisha has centuries-old connection with Rasagola, but many are simply unwilling to accept the reality of this continuing tradition on the last day of the Ratha Jatra at Puri, Odisha! 
Misleading info and fake news is still being spread! 
Many posts, videos, articles etc. have wrong information. 
This despite Odisha having earned the GI Tag and having shown that the word 'Rasagola' has existed in Odia literature even before Kolkata city was established! 

Having spent more than the last five years of my life being deeply involved with the Rasagola case, I am totally at a loss for words!
Exactly 5 years ago, on July 30, 2015, had started #RasagolaDibasa- celebration of a Rasgulla Day on social media.
Last year, on July 29, 2019, Odisha earned the GI tag for Odisha Rasagola.
Yesterday, was the first anniversary of our Rasagola GI tag.

Being enthused, I shared the video of a newly-wedded Doctor that I received on WhatsApp. Doctor Babu's maiden visit to his in-laws place is to be seen to be believed! His loving in-laws have taken great efforts to prepare and serve 105 Odia dishes including Rasagola. I loved the thoughtful video oozing great honour, love, care, and the loooong list of dishes that I shared it on some groups in FaceBook.
Today, I saw many comments that informed me that some people still believe that Rasagola belongs to Bengal!
I instantly felt transported to back in time- perceptions haven't changed much despite doggedly trying to promote the truth on social media! 
But, the eternal optimist in me soon saw that many had provided the correct info as reply to the ignorant comments. Hard work hasn't gone waste!

I pray that may we never have to encounter any 'debate/controversy' or give explanation or defend Rasagola-origin-in-Odisha case!

Conclusion

In both the above-mentioned Star & Sweet cases, the narrative has been decided and set.
All the conversations, perceptions, attitudes etc are based on this.
Further conversations are based on the first-hand information provided.
Thus, if an influential/wise/learned/authoritative/reliable person has stated or published something first, it is accepted as truth.
Blindly accepted and promoted as truth! 
No one suspects any foul play or vested interests or cultural appropriation!
No one knows the naked truth! 

Many do not care.
Lies are wearing the clothes of truth and have made their presence everywhere! 

If Y, who is not well-known (but has research/experience), says something serious, you don't believe her.
But, if X, who is a well-known trustworthy culture/media personality, either says something frivolous or copies the exact thing as Y has been saying (and worse, claims to be his own original idea), you believe him!

Star & Sweet cases thus have dark and sour dealings.
If such high-profile cases with solid evidence and backing meet with a fate, then imagine how the truth will be possible for the lesser-known reality...

Truth is whose responsibility? 
Please let us be responsible citizens and report correctly.
No, SSR did NOT commit "suicide."
No, Rasagola has NOT originated in "Bengal."

Why is it so tough to accept, support and promote the truth?

We believe- "Satyameva Jayate".
Truth always wins.
"Truth is still the truth even if no one believes it; Lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it."
"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes." 
There is hope that truth will be out one day.
But, how will this happen if we don't support/say?

What do you say?
Do share your comments below.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Kendrapara Rasabali

Rasabali is a traditional sweet of Odisha that is prepared using  chhena i.e. cottage-cheese and thickened sweetened milk. 
This sweet is being offered everyday for the past several centuries at the Baladevjew Temple at Kendrapara district of Odisha. 
It is also one of the bhoga of the Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha.
Rasabali is a very popular sweet dish and has many fans.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

The Missing Diary

My diary was missing.

I had looked for it everywhere.

It had my deepest secrets.

I was not too worried that anyone could read it.

I write using 'invisible ink' and only I can read the text...

I had been documenting for long.

Had someone stolen it?

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