Saturday 13 April 2024

Odia New Year: Pana Sankranti - Mahabishuba Sankranti

The Odia New Year is called Pana Sankranti or Mahabishuba Sankranti.

Details about Pana Sankranti are in my previous blog posts here.

This time let us all ensure correct representation in our social media posts.

As per the Purnachandra Odia Bhashakosha, an Odisha encyclopedia- a monumental 7-volume work of about 9,500 pages published between 1930 and 1940 by an illustrious son of Odisha, Sri Gopal Chandra Praharaj (1874-1945):

 ବିଷୁବ ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି Bishuba Samkrāntiସଂ. ବିସୂର୍ଯ୍ୟ ବର୍ଷକରେ ଯେଉଁ ଦିନଦ୍ୱୟ ବିଷୁବ ରେଖା ଉପରେ ଗମନ କରନ୍ତି; ତହିଁର ପରବର୍ତ୍ତୀ ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି ଦ୍ୱୟ; ଜଳବିଷୁବ ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି ଓ ମହାବିଷୁବ ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି; ବର୍ଷକରେ ଯେଉଁ ଦିନଦ୍ୱୟ ସୂର୍ଯ୍ୟ ପ୍ରଥମେ ଯଥା— କ୍ରମେ ମେଷ ରାଶିକୁ ଓ ତୁଳ ରାଶିକୁ ସଂକ୍ରମଣ (ଗମନ) କରନ୍ତି—The two Saṁkrānti days in the year falling after the equinoxes; the passage of the sun to the next sign at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes; the passage of the sun to the first points of Aries and Libra after the vernal and autumnal equinoxes; the equinoxial passage (Apte).
ବିଷୁବ Bishuba3ମେଷ ବା ବୈଶାଖ ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି; ପଣା ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି; ମହାବିଷୁବ ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି—3. The Saṁkrānti or the 1st day of the month of solar Ba̲i̱ṡākha; the first point of Aries which the sun enters after the vernal equinox (Apte).

Thursday 11 April 2024

Chhenapoda and Podapitha - Foods of Odisha

Chhenapoda is a delectable dessert of Odisha that is prepared by using Chhena (cottage-cheese).

More information about Chhenapoda in my previous posts here.
There is a lot of misinformation regarding Chhenapoda.
More awareness is needed.

What is the name of the following bhoga?

Wednesday 10 April 2024

The Hidden Treasure

Mili was visiting her grandparents’ home.

They had passed away...

Though Mili was visiting after many years, she saw that not much had changed in their home.

There was still no air-conditioner or television.

As a kid, Mili never missed electronic devices whenever she visited her grandparents.

They played many board games together.

She loved listening to their stories.

Many memories came flooding her mind.

Photo Prompt- Susan Rouchard

Wednesday 3 April 2024

The Bridge of Diligence

 The villagers had always wanted a bridge.

During the rainy season, boatmen either didn’t come or didn't dare to ferry passengers.

School students suffered.

Some diligent students, who didn't want to miss school, used to swim to attend school.

The villagers had communicated during meetings with politicians.

All letters to leaders had been in vain.

Governments came and went; the river had no bridge…


Photo Prompt- Sandra Crook

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Manifestation Magic

Imparting dance lessons to Persons With Disability (PWD) was tough.

She trained them wonderfully.

Photo Prompt- Dale Rogerson
She knew nothing was impossible.

Her dream University beckoned.

She often saw the building through her netted-curtain.

Photo Prompt- Roger Bultot
It was always there in front of her.

In her last attempt, she was rejected.

Wednesday 13 March 2024

The Beach Rider

They had challenged her that she could never learn to ride a bicycle.

"You are already so old!"

"If you fall while learning to ride a bicycle, your broken bones are not going to heal easily!"

They all taunted her!


The choice was hers.

The field was hers.

She started earnestly.

It was tough with arthritis...

Photo Prompt- Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Monday 11 March 2024

The Spelling of Rasabali In Odia

 Rasabali is a cottage cheese-based dessert of Odisha.

"Kendrapara Rasabali" has the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

When I first started working for this GI, I looked for the spelling of this word- Rasabali- not only in English, but in Odia also.

As "Rasavali" too is derived from Sanskrit, and there the letter "v" is used instead of "b".

When I first consulted with scholars and language experts, those with a strong Sanskrit background advocated the usage of "Rasavali" in the name.

However, the usage of "b" i.e. Rasabali is more common in Odia.

Many of the sellers are already using - "Rasabali" as the name.

As we must be true to our local spelling and name, being "vocal for local", we settled for "Rasabali."

The name of "Kendrapara" was also discussed and went ahead with "Kendrapara" as the district name is - Kendrapara (and not Kendrapada).

These blog posts have more about our Rasabali GI outreach-

After my facilitation for the "Kendrapara Rasabali" GI and despite personally informing the stakeholders multiple times about the need for "correct representation", it was disappointing to find that the GI application had been submitted and the logo had been applied that too with the wrong information and spellings of product, applicants, place etc -

Tuesday 20 February 2024

There Were No Footsteps When I Walked

I do not know how or why I embarked on that trip,

They laughed at me saying everything I did was a blip!

With the herd mentality, they indulged in copy-paste-

Anything original & great, they'd own up after a taste!

Image credit; Moostapper Pixabay

While they followed footsteps & copied all bit by bit,

Hiding sources, appropriating & falsely claiming credit!

Monday 19 February 2024

You Look Great Even Without AI

Fairness has its stark advantages here.

Dark skin is not what most can bear.

"Fair is beautiful"- for many in our land.

Being fair is "lovely" & like a magic wand.

Source: Pexels

A darker shade of skin is sought to be lightened.

Beauty standards are accentuated & heightened.

"Fair" is much in demand in this digital age too!

Tech filters, apps & AI change the looks of you!

Wednesday 14 February 2024

The Snow Trip

“No, you cannot cancel our trip to the Himalayas yet again!

I’ve never seen snow in my life.”

Riya was upset.

It was the second time her husband had expressed his inability to go on the trip.

Riya had spent hours to book the trip.

Photo Prompt- Dale Rogerson

He had promised he would make it this time.

Tuesday 13 February 2024

Prints Being Sold As Pattachitra Art Paintings

In our previous post, we shared how the eyes of the deities are now being misrepresented- in printed photographs/images that are used even in temples and at homes in Puja rooms, and also on diaries, calendars etc.

Misrepresentation of Eyes of Deities- Shree Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Shree Jagannatha-

Even in the new art- paintings created by hand- artists are shaping the eyes incorrectly & not presenting the original eyes.

What is the shape of the eyes of Shree Balabhadra & Devi Subhadra in the "Pattachitra Art Painting" image given below?
This image depicts the eyes better (without squint)-

What is the name of the art that you can see in the above images?

Misrepresentation of Eyes of Deities- Shree Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra And Shree Jagannatha

India has many Goddesses and Gods.

Every deity has their own distinct image.

For example, Maa Saraswati is shown holding Her Veena and wearing white clothes.

Similarly, Shree Shiva is shown with the moon and holding His weapons.

Shree Ganesha has been represented in many ways- holding sweets, books, weapons etc.

The Shree Jagannatha Temple of Puri, Odisha, is one of the "Char Dham"i.e. the four holy places to visit for Hindus.

Lakhs of devotees visit the temple.

The sibling deities also come out of the temple and undertake their annual journey - the Ratha Jatra (Ratha Yatra).

Thursday 8 February 2024

The High Spirited Girl

She thought herself to be lucky-

Always experimenting with art!

Their engines made her appear murky-

Like a fox & coyote, without heart.


She worked hard to sow the seeds. 

Her confidence gave them the blues.

They removed her plants as weeds!

Her name joined their list of taboos.


Source: Pexels 

The Sunset Treat

 A group of seniors had scheduled their meeting on the newest bridge in the city.

Their idea was to meet, chat, and watch the sunset together.

Priya was on the bridge staring at the water.


Photo Prompt - Peter Abbey

The laughter and banter of the seniors filled her thoughts.

Seeing the group, she understood that they might have been school/college friends.

Friday 2 February 2024

Woman With Flowered Hat

The party was on in full swing.

Many guests had been invited.

Why did he have the empty feeling?

He was quiet though much was unsaid.


There was decoration, food and fun.

Free drinks flowed; the spirits were high!

Many indulged in animated discussion!

All fake smiles & superficiality made him sigh.


Woman With Flowered Hat- Jean Dupas

Thursday 1 February 2024

Craft Reflects The Craft

Sita was excited when the National Sculpture Competition was announced.

For the past year, she had been devotedly working on an idol of God though some remarked- "You being a female, how and why are you in this man’s trade?”

People mocked and questioned her- “How can you even dream of your art getting selected or expect winning?"

Maa Durga Idol- Pexels - Anil Sharma

Odisha Tableau - First Prize Winner In Republic Day Parade 2024

The 75th Republic Day was held with great pomp and show on January 26, 2024, at the Kartavya Path, New Delhi.

Odisha state's tableau has won the first prize in the State/UT category in Republic Day Parade 2024.

Traditional, local & GI crafts of Odisha were showcased.

Odisha Tableau was selected and could join the parade after 3 years.

The beautiful tableau had Pattachitra theme & art including Kandarpa Hati - i.e. elephant with figures in traditional Krishna Leela art.

Wednesday 31 January 2024

Wherever She Went, Love Followed

She was so lovely!

He loved her.

She did not know.

Even if she did, would she have cared or reciprocated?


She cared for her books.

They were her love.

Even he loved to chew on books.


Once he had tried making his presence felt.

She shrieked.

Even he got startled!


Photo Prompt- Susan Rouchard

When she decided to move homes, even he decided to make a move.

Monday 29 January 2024

Nabagunjara Lecture - Odisha's Handloom Art Tradition

Thanks to the Nabagunjara Lecture series organisers for choosing "Odishara Bayana Kala Parampara" or "Odisha's Handloom Art Tradition" topic for the Lecture Series- Talk No. 36 & for your warm invitation 🙏🏽

Parampara means- Legacy, Tradition or Heritage.
Odisha has an age-old Parampara & cultural heritage with textiles.

The thoughtfully designed poster itself has handlooms as the background for the faces! Can you identify the handlooms?

Thank you so much, Nabagunjara Family, for the honour & great opportunity to learn & share about Odisha's rich handloom tradition.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

The Real Art And The Artist

The view was very beautiful.

The artist in Lizy was ecstatic.

Lizy had to express it on her canvas.

Photo Prompt- Rochelle Wisoff Fields

She returned with her painting materials.

She took pains to ensure that her sketch was a replica.

Wednesday 17 January 2024

The Nice Princess Guide

When the princess woke up, she found herself locked in a small room.

She realized what had happened.

A witch had kidnapped her...

The princess closed her eyes and took deep breaths.

She searched in her brain’s memory.

“The Nice Princess’s Guide” chapter- “What to do when a witch abducts you?” flashed in her mind!

“Buttering and oiling helps. Be nice to the witch and flatter her! Try oiling her hair!”

The princess looked for oil in the room.

Photo Prompt- Jennifer Pendergast

Monday 15 January 2024

Sohrai-Khovar Painting - Justin Imam

It was wonderful to meet & interact with Justin Imam ji 6 weeks ago at the Odi Art Museum at the Chilika Shelduck Folk Carnival 2023 held at Barkul, Odisha where he was a speaker.

He had also displayed Sohrai & Khovar at the stall. He was so enthusiastic about this GI craft's promotion and explained to all visitors continuously and proudly shared information with all. 

"Which way to hold the painting? Horizontally or vertically?" I asked while being sure that it was to be vertically.
"Am I holding it right?" I showed him by turning back as he was standing inside the stall while I was outside (Pics 1 & 2)
That's when he corrected me. You can see the image that has the correct depiction.

Wednesday 10 January 2024

When I Went To The Lagoon

When I went to the lagoon,

I felt great!

The lagoon was there, 

I was alive & not "late"!


Source- @moefcc on X

One friend-

Was in a bed-ridden state;


Passed the heavenly gate.

I See Her Here

When I started seeing her in my dreams, I thought I had to visit her.

Where had my best-friend suddenly disappeared?

Why had she stopped receiving my phone calls and replying to my emails and messages?

I took the next flight to her city.

I went to her workplace and apartment.

When I showed her photo or asked about her, none recognized her.

They said- "No such girl ever worked or stayed here!"

I ordered coffee at her favourite coffee shop.

Photo Prompt- Susan Rouchard

Sunday 7 January 2024

Happy New Year Wishes

Each English calendar new year comes with hope and cheer and the possibilities are unlimited!

Darshan of Mahaprabhu

I remember the past celebrations when we started the year with a darshan of Shree Jagannatha Mahaprabhu at Puri Dham, Odisha.

Those were the days when there was no internet, smartphone or social media.

Now, we can end and start with darshan anywhere and anytime.

Now, what we want to do "darshan" and what we want to share is totally up to us!

Saturday 6 January 2024

Bargarh Handloom Summit 2024 - Dia Mirza Wore Bomkai Saree

Recently, the Bargarh Handloom Summit 2024 was held at Bargarh, Odisha.

Actress Dia Mirza was the guest.

She wore a beautiful Bomkai saree.


This has the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

Apart from a handloom exhibition, panel discussion etc, there was a fashion show at the #BargarhHandloomSummit 2024.

Wednesday 3 January 2024

The Soul Of The Forest

When the nature-lover geologist entered the forest, she had no clue where her steps would lead her.

After she had walked for long, she realized that she was lost.

There were no "Exit" signboards.

She was thirsty.
She spotted muddy water. 
Photo Prompt- Dale Rogerson

7 Latest Registered GI Products of Odisha India #OdishaGI

Truly proud to share that 7 Odisha products have been registered as Geographical Indications (GIs) 

Some other GIs registered today belong to states like- Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir & West Bengal and their latest registered GI products such as - Arunachal Pradesh Wancho Wooden Craft etc, Kachchhi Desi Kharek, Ramban Anardana & Kalonunia Rice etc. respectively.

All these are now GIs- "Invaluable Treasures of Incredible India".

GIs are always a matter of great pride and prestige for our nation.

As a grassroots GI worker, proud to have initially suggested some of the brand-new registered Odisha GIs for filing.

Had mentioned some GI names in my talk during a panel discussion held at Bhubaneswar on Makar Sankranti, January 14, Rasagola Mahotsav 2019, organised by Tarang Music and Odisha Television (OTV) group-

Watch from 49:05-50:05 and I have shared the names of some potential Odisha GI products including-

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