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

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

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

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

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!
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