Saturday 30 September 2023

5 Quiz Questions - Can You Answer?

Here are 5 Quiz Questions for you. How many can you answer?


1. Which nut is used to make Marzipan?

a. Almonds b. Pistachio c. Macademia d. Cashewnut

2. Which planet's moon is the second-largest moon of the solar-system?

a. Earth b. Jupiter c. Saturn d. Uranus

Source: NASA

Friday 29 September 2023

Shakti Scheme - Free Bus Rides For Women

In a previous blog post last week, I shared about the word "power" or "shakti" and how it is synonymous with men.

The word "Shakti" is also used along with the word "Mission" i.e.- "Mission Shakti".

This is to denote women power as "Mission Shakti" represents women and their contribution. 

We have Mission Shakti in Odisha. Women Self-Help Groups i.e. SHGs are involved. The aim is employment and good opportunities for women to realize their potential and attain goals.

Recently, another political party was elected in a large southern state of India.

One of their poll promises was the "Shakti" scheme.

Shakti Scheme- Source: All About Belgaum

Wednesday 27 September 2023

Bomkai Saree - GI Handloom of Odisha

Bomkai is an exclusive handloom product of Odisha.

"Bomkai Saree & Fabrics" have the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

Bomkai Saree- Source: Utkalamrita

The Saree's name is Bomkai as it has originated in the Bomkai village of Ganjam district of Odisha.

However, now Bomkai Sarees are being mostly handwoven in the Sonepur district of Odisha.

Thus, they are being called "Sonepuri" Sarees.

Tuesday 26 September 2023

Stay Strong!

What is strength?

That we see being exhibited by action-heroes and heroines, right?

Despite being a feminist, I have used the word- "heroes" first and then "heroines" in the above sentence.

Ever wonder how and why the very words- "action", "strong", "strength", "power" etc are associated with men?

Aren't there more action-heroes than action-heroines?

Batman, Spiderman, Antman, Phantom, Superman...


Supergirl, Wondergirl...

"The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone."

Losing Track Of Time

They asked her to focus on work.

She was not the type to shirk.

Serious about responsibilities,

Losing track of time in liabilities.

Her dreams were smothered.

But, she was no longer bothered!

She was head over heels in love!

Losing track of time hand in glove.

Source: Unsplash

Monday 25 September 2023

Get Over Jealousy

"I went to find a bad person in the universe, and I found none."
- Kabir
Be "happy and joyful" and "never do harm to anyone".
Totally agree with these words expressed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji in this Speaking Tree column- "Get Over Jealousy" published by ET Prime on August 26, 2023:

Sharing Caring Honey Bee

She travelled for many hours-

Voluntary efforts with devotion.

For gardens, she scaled walls & towers,

And gathered key drops & information.

Source: Unsplash

Does Rasabali Have A Hole Like Doughnut?

Rasabali is a traditional Chhena sweet of Odisha.

It is a bhoga/offering at Shree Baladevjew Temple, Kendrapara, Odisha.

More information about Kendrapara Rasabali here-

Source: Mobile News

By now, many are aware that the Geographical Indication (GI) application for "Kendrapara Rasabali" has been submitted and it will earn the GI tag shortly.

Friday 22 September 2023

Dungaria Kondh - Kapadaganda Shawl

Can you guess the names of the handlooms in this image?

That is me in the centre flanked by two gorgeous women.

Do you know-
My Silk Saree's name?

The names of the exquisite shawls by the graceful women standing to my left and right?

Thursday 21 September 2023

Kendrapara Rasabali - GI Tag

It is heartening to see the interest regarding Geographical Indication (GI) now in Odisha.

I saw a couple of social media posts sharing about the upcoming GIs like- Kendrapara Rasabali.

Having done the initial facilitation of this GI, it gives me great pride and happiness.

In fact, just like the Utkal Mistanna Byabasyee Sangha for Odisha Rasagola GI, the producer-group - "Kendrapara Rasabali Mistanna Nirmata Sangha" was formed after my suggestion, guidance and constant follow-up. 

It may be noted that the GI tag for Odisha Rasagola has informed and inspired many producer-groups to also earn GIs for their own local products.

After receiving query from a local writer, Shri Saroj Mohanty, regarding Kendrapara Rasabali GI in 2020, I had created a WhatsApp group to facilitate the process. Some stakeholders had been added by the Admins that also included Shri Mohanty. Rasabali GI information was being continuously shared in the group.

GI Application was filed in December 2021.

The main product-description about Rasabali in the GI application has been taken from the initial 3 lines shared in my blog post (published on July 2020)-

Yes, my Blog- "The Explorer of Miracles" finds mention in the Kendrapara Rasabali GI application.

National Handloom Awards 2023

September 20 is celebrated as "Silk Day".

Today we are also celebrating- Nuakhai- an important harvest festival of Odisha.

It's an important day for our rich handlooms & talented weavers.


This blog post has reference to the "National Handloom Awards" for this year (& some previous years) that are yet to be held.

Thanks to Ministry of Textiles initiative for the first National Handloom Day on 7th August 2015. 

National Handloom Awards were handed over.

Handloom-weaving community felt honoured.

Contribution of this sector in the socio-economic development of our nation is immense. #MyHandloomMyPride

National Handloom Day is over on August 7th this year. 

But, Awards were not handed over to weavers. 

Notification for the National Handloom Awards (NHA) 2023 application/submission is not published as yet.

I had first shared about this issue 2 months ago- registration number: PMOPG/E/2023/0135449.

However, date for this year's NHA is still not out.

As per reply received on 26.07.2023, NHA dates & details would be shared after guidelines are set.

Interested weavers are still asking- When will they get notification for National Handloom Awards?

Our weavers have spent a lot of time and effort & invested resources for creating unique designs.

Those prized pieces are still waiting to be sent for NHA consideration.

Once a piece is woven for Award, weaver cannot showcase or sell that. 

Money is blocked.

As NHA haven't been held for past 2-3 years, many pieces are lying.

There's loss of morale & patience.

Textile ministry should announce submission dates & details soon so that the weavers can apply. 

This month, the NHA application process should be published.

Requesting completion of all pending NHA ceremonies before end of this year- 2023.

Target must be to hand over National Handloom Awards for year 2024 on the National Handloom Day 2024.

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Shree Ganesha - Ganesh Chaturthi Festival

May Shree Ganesha bless all this Ganesh Chaturthi.

How many are still using "Lord" to refer to our Gods?

Can we please start using "Shree" instead of Lord?
Shree Ganesha 🙏🎊

Jaya Shree Ganesha 🙏🎊

Shree Ganesha is a much-loved God and is invoked first during many events and Pujas.
He is "Vighnaharta"- i.e. the "remover of obstacles".

Who does not want obstacles to be removed?

Shree Ganesha also finds expression in many handicrafts and handlooms of Odisha like the following-

Odisha Pattachitra

Monday 18 September 2023

How To Get Back Lent Money?

Have you ever borrowed or lent money? 

Those who have done so, would have realized how tough it is to retrieve.

How many borrowers actually follow you up to return the money they owe?

When the amount is "small or insignificant" meaning when the figure is within 1-3 digits then it is expected to be forgotten!

The expectation is not too different in the case of a four or five figure loan too!

The same thing applies for books.

I am yet to get back many of the books I have lent. This outcome is independent of the nature, size or cost of the book!

Borrowers have been reminded multiple times and yet they do not feel it necessary to even answer messages or calls.

Came across this interesting headline and news report published in today's edition of Economic Times (ET) -

Likely to miss monthly repayment? Don't worry, SBI will send you a chocolate

Which borrower wants a chocolate?

Will gifting a chocolate make borrowers return what they owe?

India's largest bank, the State Bank of India (SBI) certainly thinks so.

Source: ET

Wednesday 13 September 2023

Answer This KBC 7 Crore Question

The popular Quiz-show Kaun Banega Crorepati, hosted by the inimitable Sri Amitabh Bachchan has found its first Crorepati for its latest season- KBC-15.

Jaskaran Singh answered all the questions he knew and bagged one crore.

He could not answer the last question though.

Courtesy: Sony TV

Regular viewers know how tough it is to first make it to the show, then the hot-seat, and thereafter, answer all the questions correctly and consistently thereby securing such a huge amount.

Some highly intelligent persons have faltered after crossing and reaching such levels and lost all the amount "won".

Patachitra - Traditional Art of Odisha

 "Patachitra is the cloth scroll painting tradition from Odisha, dedicated to mythological and religious themes in Indian art. Bold, strong outlines, vibrant colours like white, red, yellow and black with decorative borders."

Apart from cloth & other materials, a locally-prepared canvas called Pata/Patta is also used for this amazing art style.

It is great to find correct information regarding the various arts of India in the report by India Today-
10 Distinct & Ethnic Paintings of India.

Tuesday 12 September 2023

Abhimanyu Samantasinghar Marg - Bhubaneswar Road Renamed

Yesterday, eminent writer and artist, Shri J.P.Das, shared a Facebook post with an image regarding renaming of a road in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.

A particular road that was previously named as "Abhimanyu Samantasinghar Marg" is now known as "Saint Mother Teresa Marg."

How did this happen? 

When did this happen? 

Information is usually not known unless shared.

That is how people become aware.

I first came to know about the incident in 2018 from Shri Prakash Nayak, one of the activists who had raised his voice against the issue.

But, when did the road-name-change happen? In year 2016!

This news-report in the Times of India has more info.

Friday 1 September 2023

Local Odisha Products in Final GI Stage

It is great to see the interest and excitement of general public regarding Geographical Indications (GIs) now.

I recollect the time when many Odias considered even the discussion regarding GIs as a waste of time and effort, and rather chose to remain mute spectators while some of us were passionately championing Odisha Rasagola and other potential local products as GIs. (Some still do).

After the grant of the last 2 GIs- especially Odisha Rasagola GI, many became aware and producer groups started demanding GI for their own community's products. 

Note- NOT ONE Odisha GI application was filed between 2011-2017.

Now, how many GI applications have been filed from year 2018 onwards?

While it gives immense pleasure to see many being "vocal for local" and "vocal for GI", the wrong information being shared is a matter of great concern.

This afternoon, it was quite perplexing to find many sharing that "Nayagarh Kanteimundi Brinjal" has earned the GI Tag!

When I checked, it was showing as "Examination" stage.

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