Thursday, 28 October 2021

Rasagola Aamara - End of Discussion? #EndRasgullaDebate

It is truly satisfying to see the confident answer of singer Sthitipadma Dash and the reactions. In the audition round of Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, a leading singing reality show, filmed at Mumbai, Sthitipadma encountered a sweet question on the stage the moment she introduced herself as from “Cuttack, Odisha”. Judges- singer-cum- music-composers Vishal Dadlani and Shankar Mahadevan immediately turned to the third judge, singer-cum-music-composer, Himesh Reshammiya, who asked her in Hindi- “Rasgulla Kiska Hai?”i.e. whom does Rasagola belong?

Sthitipadma confidently answered,  “I wouldn’t like to take the things further but Jay Jagannath, Rasagola Aamara (Rasagola is ours)- End of discussion.”. 

Everyone cheered.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

The Invention

My heart was beating fast.

My invention was to be put to test for the first time.

I had spent most of my life working on a time-machine.

Photo Prompt- Douglas M Macllroy

To test it, I kept a mannequin on the machine. 

I thought of testing with a dummy before trying on a living-being.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

The Real Artist

It was a normal date.

This was their third meeting.

He had invited her home for a meal.

They had met at a café earlier. 

This time was special. 

He showed her his art- both paintings and cooking! 

The man could paint and cook!

She liked him.

 

Photo Prompt- Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

She was yet to discover that he was a real artist...

It did not take long.

Textiles Committee Bhubaneswar Regional Office

Odisha has been famous for exquisite handicrafts, handlooms and textiles. These popular and rich treasures of Odisha have been a part of Odisha's glorious culture, heritage, history, and maritime trade and commerce for long and have immensely contributed to the employment and livelihood of the artisans and weavers of the state. 


Out of the registered seventeen Geographical Indication (GI) products of Odisha, there are twelve handicrafts including nine handlooms. There are many more potential GI products. 

Odisha has an impressive handloom map. 


Note- All handlooms of Odisha have not been shown in the above map.

In addition, Odisha has 50 crafts recognized by the state Govt. 

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

The Healing Prescription

*Gentle voice* Feel comfortable and be relaxed.

We are taking a shuttle to your past.

What can you see? 

I am visiting a fair with my parents. 

I can see a merry-go-round.  

I request my parents- Please allow me to take a ride.

Photo Prompt- Brenda Cox

Then?

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Maa Biraja, Jajpur, Odisha - Shakti Peetha

Devi puja i.e. Goddess worship is being done for many centuries in India. 

During Navaratri, Durga Puja, and Dussehra festivals, many Goddesses are worshipped, especially Devi Durga. 

There are Shakti Peethas, where it is believed that the different parts of Devi Sati had fallen. According to the Tantra Chudamani, Sati's navel fell in the Utkala Kingdom. 

Maa Biraja Peetha is the Shakti Peetha where the naabhi i.e. the navel portion had fallen. Some Shakti Peethas are present in Odisha.

In his Ashtadasha Shakti Peetha Stuti, AdiShankara describes the goddess as "Girija". 

In Tantra literature, the Oddiyana Peetha is located near the Baitarani river. Oddiyana is an ornament worn by a woman around her navel.

Devi Durga is worshipped as Maa Biraja in this Peetha. 

Image Courtesy- Jajpur District Administration

Maa Biraja Temple is an ancient temple with a unique Mahishasuramardini i.e. the killer of Mahishasura-  idol. The Durga idol has two hands, spearing the chest of Mahishasura with one hand and pulling his tail with the other. One of Her feet is on a lion, and the other is on Mahishasura's chest.

The Mahishasura is depicted as a Buffalo, and not as regular human demon. The crown of Maa Biraja has the symbols of Shree Ganesha, crescent moon, and a Shivalinga.

The Biraja Temple is located in Jajpur that is known as the "ancient capital of Orissa" (Odisha). It is about 125 kilometers north of Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

River Baitarani flows beside the Biraja temple. The temple covers a large area and has several shrines dedicated to Shiva and other deities. According to the Utkala Khanda of the Skanda Purana, as this area cleanses pilgrims, it is called the Biraja Kshetra.

The mention of Maa Biraja is also in Brahma Purana, Kapila Samhita and the Mahabharata.

It is said that when cursed Lord Brahma was worshipping, then pleased with his prayers, Maa Biraja appeared. The original temple was built by King Yayati Keshari. However, it was destroyed by invaders. Thereafter, the present temple was built.

Entrance- Image Courtesy- Jajpur District Administration

Maa Biraja is the only Goddess in the world who has Her own Ratha Jatra (Rath Yatra i.e. Chariot Festival) It lasts for 9 days during Durga Puja celebration.

Yes, there is a Ratha Jatra, just like in the ShreeMandira i.e. the Shree Jagannatha Temple, Puri. 

The Shree Jagannatha Ratha Jatra is well-known, but many are yet to know of the Ratha Jatra of Maa Biraja.

 

As per the tradition, the chalanti pratima (idol to represent Maa Biraja) is taken for the Ratha Jatra. Lord Brahma is the sarathi (charioteer) of Her Ratha. 

During Ratha Jatra, Maa Biraja is offered Rasagola (Rasgulla) as bhog.

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

That Charming Photograph

"Who is that charming lady in the photograph?" Mini asked her grandmother.

"That is my grandmother!" Mini's grandmother answered pointing to the lady who was seated.

Photo Prompt- Rochelle Wisoff Fields

"I was referring to the tall and fair lady, who is standing... I look a lot like her!" Mini winked.

"Granddaughters do resemble their grandmothers; it’s in the genes!" Mini’s grandma laughed.

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