Sunday 31 December 2017

This New Year 2018...

Are you grounded by responsibility?
Or the past & wallowing in self-pity?
Or over-burdened with excuses?
Or feeling like a pawn in a game of Chess?

Time to fly! Come on, defy gravity!
Discover & recognize the #AuraOfPositivity!
Conquer the sky 🌌 & the world 🌎 anew!
The Universe is waiting to embrace you!
A new year is arriving and is almost here!
New day, new week, new month, new year!
Do the best you can; every moment is dear!
May this new year be filled with comfort & cheer!

Keep your spirit & determination strong,
Journey on the road to glory may take long.
I wish you love, peace, joy, health, happiness,
Courage, faith, gratitude, enthusiasm, confidence...
May we be armed with all the above in our kit,
When challenges as opportunities pay us a visit!
This new year, may our positive outlook help us cope,
Happy New Year! 365 days have tremendous scope!

Note- Initially written as an answer for @AuraOfThoughts on Twitter 

What would you wish your loved ones this new year? Do share in the comments below.

115 Varieties of Bhog of Shree Jagannatha Temple Puri

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

The state of Odisha in India has a rich culinary tradition. Odisha boasts of an amazing variety of dishes, most of which are associated with the ancient temple traditions of Odisha from centuries.

The general public is yet to learn about this state's rich culture. Many Odias, even those residing in Odisha, are grossly unaware.

On 24th December, 2017, thanks to Neeladri Adyatmik Trust, we got a novel opportunity to attend a unique event that introduced us to 'Odisha Mandirara Bhoga Parampara' i.e. the 'Bhog tradition of Odisha Temples'. A book by the same name was released on the occasion.
An 800-pages book 'Shree Jagannath Gyana Kosha' was also released in the event.
Chhapana Bhoga (56 Bhog) of Shree Jagannatha is pretty famous. But, the fact is Shree Jagannatha is offered many more dishes and thus, the number of bhog is not just 56 in number. Number of offering vary as per the traditions, and on the festive occasion of Makar Sankranti, there are 84 bhog- the highest number of offerings are given. It is even mentioned in the Record of Rights as "Makara Chaurasi Bhoga".

Some of the dishes like 'Mandua' are unknown even to some Puri city inhabitants!
We had the opportunity to see 115 varieties of bhog exhibited in the event.
You can take a look at this short video that shows some glimpses :

Monday 25 December 2017

Silence Feeds The Violence

They find you- the woman- very weak & an easy target to pick,
Who can be made to dance to their favourite music!
They make you do this & that & to be their 24X7 slave!
You carry the trauma, humiliation & violence to your grave.

They grope emotionally & physically; you bear in silence.
Being the society's scapegoat to no woman makes sense.
A raped woman has no respect in our moral society
You think- 'What'll people say', 'Who'll marry me?'

You had worn a mini-skirt or were covered from head-to-toe,
The result was still the same- what all got to know.
Whatever happened wasn't your fault or invitation at all.
You are the unfortunate 'victim' whose case was judged by all.

The deep cuts, bites, bruises, kicks, tell the real sad story,
Your silence, smile, 'status' adds to the false glory,
Your identity, existence & reasoning is threatened & pained,
You want to scream & tell your tale, but feel chained...

Monday 18 December 2017

Lord Jagannath's Rasagola #RasagolaProject

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

“I never stood a chance, did I?”

"Why this doubt?"

"They are debating about my origin!"

"And most of the world doesn't know the truth- that you have always gifted me to your wife - Maa Lakshmi."

"Yes, I take your help to pacify Lakshmi after my replies to Her questions (Bachanika). She then lets me inside our home after my Ratha Jatra outing with my siblings "

"On Niladri Bije, Bhittarachhu Mohapatra, a major priest (sebayat) prepares me with much love as per the ancient tradition and hands me over to you to gift."
"Then, I smartly gift you to Lakshmi, who is both surprised and delighted to receive my sweet gift!"

Sunday 10 December 2017

Model Traffic Jam

She honked though she knew that the chances of her car's movement depended on the movement of the vehicles that seemed to be stationary before her car...
Twenty minutes had passed and her car hadn't moved an inch.
She couldn't afford to be a victim of the terrible traffic jam that day.

She soon realized the reason of the jam- Elina, the hottest model in town, who featured on the newest advertisement on the huge billboard on that road. 
The public was totally enamoured by Elina's advertisement and didn't want to budge!
"Why did they have to put this up at this signal?" she thought.
She was getting late for the annual function at her school.
She came out of her car.
No one gave her a second look.
The public continued to stare at the billboard.
WOW - Construct A Story

Tuesday 5 December 2017

The Rasagola Project #RasagolaProject

Do you know that Mahabalipuram Stone Sculpture earned the GI (Geographical Indications) tag on Children's Day this year?
Yes, on the same day when Banglar Rasogolla earned the GI tag!

One of the newspapers of India had found this news important enough to be reported on 14th November 2017. A few others reported the same news the next day.

Sweet Fake News On Children's Day

But, in stark contrast, on 14th November 2017, most news channels and media-houses focused on the news that West Bengal had won the GI tag for 'ROSOGOLLA/RASGULLA'!
Why the special status and attention to Rasagola?
All of them reported that Bengal has won the Rosogolla war against Odisha. Most of them spread misleading & fake news

From the news-reports, netizens and viewers inferred that 'Odisha has lost' and 'Odisha's claim for Rosogolla has been rejected' by the authorities of the GI Registry. 
How Odisha's claim has been rejected when the state has NOT submitted her application towards GI tag for Rasagola?
But, the readers and viewers were given incorrect gyaan:
Bengal's Gain Is Not Odisha's Loss

The next day, some papers reported that GI authorities had stated that Odisha can also apply for a tag.

Though some papers presented updated news, yet some information was wrong or kept hidden.
Note- Pahala Rasagola is not the only variety of Rasagola available in Odisha and it's not just brown, as it is available in off-white colour too!
Plus, as per the GI authorities, despite the Banglar Rasogolla GI tag, the Rasagola origin debate is yet to be settled.

Chill! Rasagola belongs to India & to the Mouth & Stomach!

When anyone tries to question the incorrect news-reporting and stresses on the uncomfortable truth, conflict-managers & peace-lovers step in to dissipate tensions and to spread cheer saying there's no reason for a war!
"Rasagola tastes as good in all the states!" 
"Rasagola doesn't belong to any state, it's an Indian sweet!" 
"Rasagola belongs only to the mouth & stomach!"
Why the special status and attention to Rasagola?

If GI wasn't important, hundreds of applications wouldn't have been submitted for GI registration by the states so far.
Subsequent to West Bengal's products including Banglar Rasogolla, a number of products from Bihar and Rajasthan have also earned the GI tag.

Loopholes in the Banglar Rasogolla Application

There are some loopholes in the GI Application that Odisha can challenge.

The Rasagola Project 

As per some news-reports, there seems to be no intention to challenge the Banglar Rasogolla GI tag. Can a project ensure that the truth comes to light?

#RasagolaProject ??!*#!??
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