Sunday 23 December 2018

I Am Happy

I am happy to welcome a fresh new day.
I am happy when things go my way.
I am happy when I get to have a say.
I am happy when I drive negativity away!

I smile when life proves me right.
I smile when there's a funny sight-
Even when things don't appear bright!
I reach success, climbing its height.

WOW: What Makes You Smile? What Makes You Happy?

Saturday 15 December 2018

When Fear Made Me Cheer

I was wondering if my life is out of gear.
I heard a knock that was loud and clear.
"Who is at the door? Who is here?"
I heard a rough voice, "I AM FEAR!"

The answer's gravity made me feel giddy.
My eyes opened WIDE, but I wasn't READY.
I couldn't believe my ears; it was heady.
When fear visits, how can one feel steady?
WOW: Write A Poem Using These Words

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Orissa Ikat #OdishaGIs

Ikat is a process of tie-and-dye weaving. Orissa Ikat is locally called “Bandha”. 
Orissa Ikat fabrics on Cotton, Silk, Tussar and their combinations are handlooms made through a special tie and dye yarn technique - either in warp or in weft or in both warp and weft threads, so called Warp Ikat, Weft Ikat or Double Ikat. 

Tuesday 4 December 2018

Kotpad Handloom Fabric

Kotpad refers to the vegetable-dyed handloom fabrics of Odisha, India. Kotpad is named after the village where such weaving is being done from centuries. 
These natural handloom fabrics are handwoven by the tribal weavers (Mirgana caste) of Kotpad cluster of Koraput district in Southern Odisha.
Kotpad was the first product from Odisha that received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.  

The bark of ‘Aul’ tree is used to prepare the natural dyes. The bark is collected seasonally and stored for the year. It is dried and powdered. The powder is mixed with other oils and natural items for the dye. Many looms in the Kotpad cluster are engaged in the production of “Vegetable dyed Kotpad Handloom Fabrics”.
The motifs are universal (crab, fish, conch etc.) & regional (boat, axes, fan, temple, bow etc.) which reflects cross-cultural-linkages of the area. The motifs are manually developed by extra wefts.
Kotpad has been mostly used a bridal fabric and the tribal communities have been weaving this for centuries. Usually, the yarn is Cotton and Tussar. The products are sarees, shawls, dupattas, stoles, dress-materials, cushion-covers etc. Maroon and black colors are mostly used. It takes 3 weeks for the dyeing process and 3-4 weeks for the weaving. 

Kotpad products are suitable for all seasons.
I love the natural smell and colours of the Kotpad handloom fabric.

Kotpad is a GI of Odisha, India.

Type: Handicraft
GI Application# 10
Certificate Date: 2/6/2005

Ministry of Commerce & Industry organized an Exhibition of Geographical Indications (GI) at the GI Pavilion at the India International Trade Fair (IITF) at New Delhi in Nov 2018. I represented Odisha GIs at the GI Pavilion at IITF. You can read more about the #OdishaGIs here. 
Let us all use GI products - the "invaluable treasures of incredible India", and encourage our artisans, weavers, and farmers.
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Monday 3 December 2018

Up To Date

He liked her.
He never could muster enough courage to tell her that.
The college picnic was in a hill-station.
The ambience was perfect.
That day he had decided to share his feelings.
But, a youth came in his vehicle and she went away with him.

It was the last time he saw her in his college.
She was gone...
WOW: The Last Time He Saw Her

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Exhibition Of Geographical Indications Of India At IITF 2018

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The Ministry of Commerce and Industry and some private individuals and government and non-government bodies and trade and industry representatives viz. Geographical Indications Registry (GIR), Department of Industry Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), National Informatics Centre (NIC), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) etc. are focused on bettering trade prospects. 

This can be enabled with more Geographical Indications (GI) registration and empowering the artisans. Ministry of Commerce is promoting Intellectual Property (IP) and GIs with #LetsTalkIP hashtag. 

A Geographical Indication refers to a product that has a specific geographical history and origin and possesses qualities and reputation that are due to that origin. 
Recently, a new logo and tagline was adopted for GI. 
Geographical Indications are the "invaluable treasures of incredible India."
DIPP, in association with the above-mentioned bodies, is organizing an "Exhibition of Geographical Indications of India" at the 38th India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2018 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from November 14-27, 2018. This is a welcome initiative to make the public aware about the GIs of India.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Geographical Indications Of Odisha

Odisha is a culturally-rich state in the eastern part of India.  
Centuries ago, the enterprising merchants from Odisha had established great trade and commerce with the South East Asian nations. They used to carry products from ancient Odisha to other nations. A grand fair named "Bali Jatra" is celebrated every year in Cuttack. It is reminiscent of the ancient "journey to Bali".

International trade has immense possibilities in today's age.  There is a huge role of Geographical Indications (GI). GI is an Intellectual Property Right (IPR) that is a community right. GI earns reputation for the region/state and earns additional business following the registration as a geographical indication product. It contributes to the increase in sales and exports.

A Geographical Indication (GI) is an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
An agricultural, natural or a manufactured cultural product is awarded this GI tag to protect manufacturers/producers, who produce these genuine products. GI products have brand value and the GI tag ensures a brand-awareness, brand-recall and premium pricing in the domestic and international markets.

The first GI for an Indian product was for the Darjeeling Tea in 2004-05.

Odisha has a rich cultural heritage.
There are many varieties of Odisha Agricultural products, Handicrafts and Handlooms. But, only a few have got GI. 
Kotpad Handloom was the first GI from Odisha.
I have shared about Handlooms of Odisha in my previous posts:
Handlooms of Odisha
Odisha India Handlooms

Wednesday 31 October 2018

Queen In Quicksand

Gia remembered her childhood visits to the much-awarded Chess Grandmaster's home.

He taught her moves and played with her.

Not just using the Chess-board...
PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold
When Gia won the under-10 Chess Championship, he had kissed her and forced himself on her saying, "You're my Queen."

Gia felt trapped in quicksand.
She never played Chess ever again in her life.

Monday 29 October 2018

#RasagolaDibasa Doodle And Pattachitra

For this year's Niladri Bije, the last day of the Ratha Jatra, I planned to wear something special.
Niladri Bije is celebrated as Rasagola Day i.e. #RasagolaDibasa.
As per the centuries-old tradition of Puri Temple, Lord Jagannath offers Rasagolas to appease His wife, Devi Laxmi. Also, devotees offer Rasagolas to Lord Jagannath on this day.
I had handed over a gamuchha (a multi-purpose cloth used in Odisha) to our Pattachitra artist.

Pattachitra is an ancient art of Odisha that is found on the walls of the Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri, and also on the chariots (Rathas) of the Ratha Jatra.
I had discussed that I want the story of Niladri Bije depicted by Pattachitra on my kurta.
I sent my idea as a doodle to our artist. 
It was just a quick sketch to put him on the same track as my thoughts.

Sunday 21 October 2018

Durga Puja Festival In Bhubaneswar

Durga Puja is celebrated with much pomp and fanfare in Odisha, India.
Lakhs of people visit the pandals. The light decoration is to be seen to be believed.
Grandeur and opulence is unmistakable and each year the celebration seems to be bigger and better. Puja committees compete to install the finest decoration and innovative themes.
Bomikhal Pandal 2018, Bhubaneswar
People wear new clothes and throng with their families to visit the beautiful pandals.
Traditional foods of Odisha are prepared and served to the devotees as prasad/bhog.
Bomikhal Pandal 2018, Bhubaneswar
There are traffic crawls near the famous pandals especially in the evenings when the pandal-hoppers love to move around. They enjoy the light decoration.
Rasulgarh Pandal 2018, Bhubaneswar
Rasulgarh Pandal 2018, Bhubaneswar
When it is time to bid adieu to the Goddess, it is like a carnival on the streets.
Some idols are immersed in the river, while others are put in special temporary ponds created for immersion purpose.

This year in 2018, the total number of pandals in the capital city Bhubaneswar was 174.
Twin city Cuttack boasts of exquisite idols adorned with silver and gold filigree work.
More than 400 pujas are conducted in both the cities.
Sahid Nagar Pandal 2018, Bhubaneswar

The staggering number of pujas makes me think what if we could restrict the number of Puja Pandals for each city to say 4-5? If not 4-5, at least one-tenth of the number now?
Will the city lose out the celebration if we have 10-20 Puja Pandals?

The three pandal pics shared here belong to the pandals that are in a radius of just one kilometre. One can cover these by walking.
Sahid Nagar Pandal 2018, Bhubaneswar
The Puja budget of the committees is in lakhs and some in crores of Indian Rupees.
No doubt, Durga Puja is much-loved and all the idols and pandals bestow a feeling of great pride and achievement.
While the pandal construction and other activities involved with the Durga Puja makes employment and business sense, there are other administrative and environmental factors and issues that need to be kept in mind.

The amount of pollution is immense. The area near the pandals, the roads etc are littered by the reveling crowds, some with a devil-may-care attitude. Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) employees have to work extra.
Temporary ponds have been successful to save the rivers to some extent. But, what about the greater damage? The ponds are filled, but the waste must be cleared from the dump and has to be dumped somewhere, right?

How about spending the lakhs and crores of rupees on things more concrete?

I often think what if Goddess Durga Herself gave this message to the organizers of Her puja?
Will they listen to Her?

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Also linking with- ABC Wednesday- P for Puja, Pandals, Pomp
Chosen as a WOW post here

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Bird Watcher's Paradise In Odisha #TheBlindList #SayYesToTheWorld

Chilika Lake in Odisha, India, is a bird watcher's paradise.
Chilika Lake is the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia and the second largest in the world.
Spread over 1100 square kilometres, this lagoon is the largest migratory bird congregation site.

Every year, thousands of of migratory birds flock to Chilika Lake.

Saturday 13 October 2018

Beware Of Ringing Alarm

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I Wish An Alarm Would Ring Loud And Notify Me Whenever
Any of the following happen; then I'll feel smart & clever!
I Wish An Alarm Would Ring Loud And Notify Me Whenever...
Imagine how much fun it will be if I know for sure,
What others are up to & it'll be less painful to endure.

If person(s) are lying, my alarm would ring for all to hear,
Then, dishonesty and cheating I wouldn't have to bear.

Friday 12 October 2018

Third Time Lucky?

“I just need another week.” I heard myself pleading.
"I'm afraid your deadline is over," he answered coldly.

It was all my fault. I had been unable to complete my pending tasks.

The last week and the week before when he had come, I had sincerely made the same request.
When he had agreed to grant me extra time, I felt grateful for his kind consideration.
Before I could shake hands with him, he had left without a word.

As I had already stretched my luck and managed to get two extensions in the recent past, would I be third time lucky? 

This time I decided to get physical to make him change his mind...
Lipstick Kiss

Wednesday 10 October 2018

New Hope

Kirti reached the heritage and eco-hotel with her parents.
As the first guests of the refurbished property, they got a grand welcome.

“The branches of the tree are inside the rooms!” Kirti’s mother exclaimed.
“Are we allowed to pluck the mangoes?” Kirti’s father inquired.
PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Kirti was delighted to see their excitement.
She remembered her childhood when she asked such questions.

Saturday 6 October 2018

The True Student

“I have not studied”,“Left an entire chapter”,
Just before the final exam I revealed nervously, 
They shook their heads & staged mock laughter.
When I tell the truth, why don’t they believe me?

The question-paper luckily had what I knew,
I figured out some questions & wrote the answers.
Tough to believe that the unread questions were few. 
I wrote whatever came to my head- prose/verse!
When I Tell The Truth - WOW

Thursday 4 October 2018

The Anniversary Present

"You are the most beautiful woman I have ever met", Kris told his colleague.

“Glad you think so. But, a year ago, you married Tiara and not me..." she replied nonchalantly.

"Forget her! I am present with you! You are my anniversary present! Let's enjoy our time!" he grinned.
It was Tiara and Kris's first marriage anniversary.
As she tried her wedding-gown she noticed that she was a poor reflection of what she was a year ago.

Nature's Treasure

Pari and her mother, Saaki, were visiting Saaki’s childhood home.
It was no less than a museum.
Saaki was excitedly showing Pari all the memorabilia.
They found an old green trunk full of ‘Nature’s Treasure’.
That's what Pari called the seashells, oysters, rocks etc.
Pari displayed the treasure on a wooden table and wrote 'Nature Table' in her pretty cursive-handwriting.
PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Tuesday 2 October 2018

World Vegetarian Day At Chili's Bhubaneswar

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It was wonderful to be invited to for the grand opening of CHILI'S - America's favourite Tex-Mex cuisine restaurant in Bhubaneswar today on 1st October 2018.
TEX-MEX refers to Texas and Mexican food.
Chili's is an American Grill & Bar restaurant chain with presence in about 35 countries globally. The first restaurant was established in 1975 in Dallas, Texas.
In India, Chili's is present in Delhi NCR, Kolkata and Chandigarh. Today, it has opened its newest restaurant in Bhubaneswar's newest mall, the Esplanade Mall. 

Chili's has chosen a memorable day for its launch in Bhubaneswar- 1st October is World Vegetarian Day!

Friday 28 September 2018

The Mad Woman's Money

Everyone in her neighbourhood was investing in the latest scheme.
Though Rahim Chacha* and Shanu Mama* did not see eye-to-eye, she saw them bonding over cups of tea and passionately discussing about the merits of the scheme.

The audience lapped up every word of the 'experts', who recommended such investment.
Everyone found it hard to stay away from the 'get-rich-quick' investment scheme.

For them, she was the- 'pagli' i.e. 'mad/silly woman'.
They called her so as she was the only one who had not invested even a rupee in the chit fund.
She regularly deposited all her money in her bank-account.
There were too many burdens on her and she wanted to be able to withdraw cash whenever she wanted.
For her, it was wise and safe to have money within her reach.
WOW: Everyone Else Was Grieving

The Anniversary Gift

"How was your silver jubilee marriage anniversary celebration?"

“Well, that went well.”

 "What all did you do at the hill-station?"

 "We stayed in the resort mostly."

"Hmm!" :)

"Rani took rest and slept, while I clicked photographs." 

"Looks like Rani is tired of you! Imagine sleeping on the marriage anniversary!"

"No issue. That's her idea of celebration."

"What did you gift her?"

"Apart from the holiday, I gifted Rani a photograph of a cloud that I clicked there. I asked her to feel free like the cloud and explore and celebrate on the sky of my life! I promised to forever be the silver-lining of her cloud."

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Latte Lesson

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There were five vacancies for a research-project, but fifteen aspirants.
All had gathered at their professor's residence.
The professor asked them to have latte.
Each student was to serve latte for self.

The students sipped in silence awaiting the list of the chosen five.
PHOTO PROMPT © Priorhouse
As the professor read out the five names, the ten not-selected students looked disappointed.

Saturday 22 September 2018

Karma Is A Bitch

When her overseas business-trip got over three days before the scheduled date, Nina did not inform about it to her husband, Sunny.
This was the right chance to do what she had always wanted to - to surprise Sunny!

She had mentally made elaborate plans. 
However, after reaching their apartment, Nina was the one who got surprised.
There were some women's items like hair-clip, cup with lipstick etc. on their table.
Whose gown was lying on their bed?

She was angry to see the key of a brand new car.
"Sunny has bought a car without informing me?"

Wednesday 19 September 2018

A Lesson From The Umbrellas

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The College Annual Day was a fortnight away.
Students of different religions had different views.

The Principal wanted each student to participate in some way.
There was a notice asking every student to lend her/his umbrella for the decoration.
Attendance was compulsory. Students were to collect their umbrellas after the celebration.

The Annual Day presented a colourful picture with umbrellas of different colours in neat rows above.
PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Sunday 16 September 2018

The Race

“You will take part in the race?” they asked looking concerned.

“Of course, I will!” I answered cheerfully.

They burst out laughing uncontrollably.

I could not understand what the joke was.

While I was busy training for the race, they were busy laughing.

My friend Rosy had full faith in me.

“I love your passion, dedication and confidence, Ashok”, Rosy said as she gently stroked me.

Did she guess how much I loved her?

Rosy was the reason why I looked forward to races.

On the day of the race, she was dressed in a pretty pink gown.

Standing near the finish-line, she signaled the thumbs-up and victory sign to me.

I pledged to run my best race.

They were looking, but I didn’t care. I ran to her anyway.
WOW: I Ran To Him/Her Anyway

Friday 14 September 2018

Just A Minute

They took a boat to reach the ancient home.
The researchers took care to be still lest the weak building should collapse.
Week 72 Prompt © Flemming Beier
One room looked recently-constructed with its freshly-painted walls and concrete structure.
The brand-new room had an old clock.

Sunday 9 September 2018

Celebrating Forgiveness - 7 Hindi Movies

Forgiveness is a quality of the strong.
Many Hindi movies have shown the importance of forgiveness. Some movies have the protagonists deciding not to forgive. Except for a few examples in some movies, mostly parents or elders forgive their children or youngsters.
Here are 7 examples that illustrate this:

Image result for maine pyaar kiya
Maine Pyar Kiya
Hero's father mistreats his friend, the heroine's father. The latter takes his daughter, the heroine, away. It's a question of high and low status. The 'rich' lovelorn hero is ready to work for 'poor' pay to beg for forgiveness.
Does the heroine's father forgive his childhood friend, the hero's father?
Image result for hasee toh phasee

Hasee To Phasee -
Heroine runs away from home by stealing her father's money to fund her scientist dreams. After she attains success, she lands up at her home.
Does her father forgive her?

Image result for kabhi khushi kabhie gham
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
'Rich' hero falls in love with 'poor' heroine and decides to marry her instead of the rich girl his dad has chosen for him. His costly love-marriage results in the hero getting ousted from his home.
Does his father forgive him?

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