The Daily Post Photo Challenge : Wish

Shinto is the dominant religion in Japan, though it is more of a way of life than a way to worship.Visitors to Shinto shrines can purchase small wooden plaques called ema, upon which they can share their hopes and dreams. Then, they hang them amongst other ema from people who have come before them, in the hopes that spirits will grant their wish This week, show us a wish.

“World without hatred

And violence of all kinds

A wish we all wish.

Quiet and a serene life

A wish that is but a dream.”

Manipal lake 25th Feb (3)

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Manipal lake (15)

Manipal lake (18)

Manipal lake (21)

Manipal lake 25th Feb (2)

The serene waters of the lake in our place makes me wish that life everywhere could be as serene. A dream, no doubt, but we can always wish.

The Daily Post Photo Challenge : Wish

 

 

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The Daily Prompt : Chaos

Reading in the newspapers
About violence
Here, there and everywhere.
And then about
The destruction of
Nature’s resources
For the never ending
Greed of man.
To make matters worse
Politicians who are
A class into themselves
And live for power and wealth,
Are bent upon
Making money for generations.
It seems as if there is
Chaos across the world.
But there must be
Something good everywhere,
Life goes on
With all its ups and downs.
There is always
The good,the bad and ugly.
In spite of everything,
It is good to believe
There is not enough
Darkness in the world
To extinguish the
Light of a small candle.

IMG_20160508_062147.jpg

 

Letter from Home- 24 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual
19-09-18
Dear Doddamma,
On the 13th was Ganesha Chaturthi, we seek your blessings. Aravinda had a holiday and we went to Maikuri to see mava. The couple who live there to cook and do other odd jobs had gone to their home town. I cooked for lunch and also made ‘hesaru bele payasa’ (a porridge made from green gram dal, coconut and jaggery). I had also taken dosa batter, Keshava makes dosa in the evenings. Mornings they have conjee and a rasam. Keshava has learnt basic cooking now. I feel sad when I see mava not being able to connect with what is happening now. He mostly talks about what has happened in the past. He looks tired. Gayatri called when we there and she talked to him. He was very happy to listen to her. I show him the videos of Advaith and Kavya to him. We returned home in the evening.

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Ganesha Chaturthi is a very important festival for us, in every part of India. Ganapati idols are kept in Golden Jubilee hall of Syndicate bank, in Geeta mandir and in Venugopala temple. In Venugopala temple the idol is kept only for one day, on the 13th. In the other two places the idol is worshipped for three days. We went to see them on the 15th. We picked Aravinda from his college. In Golden jubilee hall, every year the theme for the background is different and beautiful. Amma was happy to see the idols.

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Yakshgana was being performed in the hall. The ‘prasanga’ story was about Bheeshma pratigne or the vow of Bheeshma. We watched for some time. Before this festival drawing competitions take place in different schools. All the paintings by the children are displayed on the walls. All are beautiful and prizes are given according to class and age group.

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We also got to see ‘huli vesha’(tiger dance) dance.

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In the Geeta mandir hall music and art competitions for children was in process. Many children were making Ganapati idols from clay. A young girl was playing the violin.

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On Sunday evening we went to Manipal lake. We had not been there for almost two weeks. The rains have completely stopped and the water level has gone down a little. For three months we had so much rain and now it is as if it never happened. People are worried because now rain is needed for the paddy fields. We like going round the lake, amma walks a little distance and sits with many other ladies. We complete one round. I usually meet friends there. Many people come as it is nice to see so much water.

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Yesterday amma and I went to the Dental college. I had taken appointment for amma, her dental check up had been pending. Fortunately, she did not have any problem. We were back by 11.30. In the evening, amma’s cousin, Ramachandra Bhat and his wife had come. He is amma’s paternal aunt’s son. He and his wife came to see amma. They left at 5.15. Aravinda went to college in autorickshaw. Kuvara went with him to Manipal and then went for a walk. Amma went to our neighbour’s house to talk for a while.
We are all fine here doddamma. Tomorrow Kuvara and I are going for our yearly medical check up.

Advaith and Kavya are fine. Advaith is very interested in caves now. On Sunday they went to see a very ancient cave a little away from the their town. It was full of stalactites and stalagmites. Kavya’s one upper tooth and one lower tooth are coming out. Advaith told us with great excitement.
With lots of love,
Lakshmi

Ganesh Chaturthi – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganesh_Chaturthi

Yakshagana – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakshgana
Yakshagana ( Kannada : “ಯಕ್ಷಗಾನ”, Tulu : “ಆಟ”) is a traditional theatre form that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form.

Letter from Home- 24 (Slice of Life)

 

Letter from Home-23 ( Slice of Life)

 

slice-of-life_individual
11-09-18
Dear Doddamma,
I am just recovering from a bout of fever and cough. The weather has changed and it may also be due to sitting in AC hall from morning to evening, I am not used to it . On the 6th, 7th and 8th Aravinda and I attended a literary festival called Manipal International Literature and Arts Platform ( m.i.l.a.p) . It was organized by Aravinda’s department, Department of European studies. I had registered for the event, Aravinda and I attended almost all the sessions. I used to cook for amma and Kuvara before leaving for the programme. Kuvara attended one session about the Journey of the Harmonium. It was very interesting.

20180908_140939Two harmonium players, Chaitanya Kunte from Maharashtra, and Ravindra Katoti from Bangalore had come. They talked about the harmonium and also played it. They said the harmonium came to India from outside and in the early years it was not accepted by musicians. But over the years it has become an integral part of any music concert. Kuvara did not come for other sessions because we did not want to leave amma alone the whole day.

20180908_114822All the sessions were very interesting. Writers from Tibet, Bhutan, and from our north eastern states had come. We came to know so much from them. The session with the Bhutanese writer, Kunzang Choden and the Tibetan writer Tenzin Tsundue was moderated by Aravinda’s friend, Chintan.   Aravinda and Chintan studied MA and MPhil at the same time in EFLU, Hyderabad. On the 9th, Chintan stayed with us. He returned to Bombay on the 10th morning. He and his parents live in Malad.

20180907_124604Sushama Deshpande spoke about Tamasha and Lavani, it was very enlightening. There is a Hindi Literary society called Goonj in Manipal. Its members mainly students who are studying in engineering college. Their poetry recital was very good. Aravind and I met them later and told them we really appreciated their recitation. It was nice to listen to people whom I had not even heard of.

20180908_105735(The Tibetan writer, Tenzin Tsundue, my son Aravinda, he is Assistant professor in the Department of European studies and his friend Chintan who moderated the session)

The literature meet took place in the third floor, There was a theatre workshop , Children’s events, art exhibition, photography exhibition and a book fair. We bought some books. In the evenings there were plays and Yakshagana too, but we did not attend them. I enjoyed listening to the different people but by the end of the day I used to feel very tired.

20180908_101143Yesterday my friend from Asare sent some photos of the Teacher’s Day celebration in a special school Spandana. Teachers in Asare had been practising a song and a folk dance. She told me it went of well. Every year Teacher’s Day is celebrated in different special schools and there are cultural events. Teachers from Asare always take part with great enthusiasm.

img-20180907-wa0002Aravinda did not have to take German classes during m.i.l.a.p but now he will have to take classes on Saturdays too. Yesterday evening after leaving him in his college, we went to the Syndicate bank training college grounds for a walk. Amma walked one round. Our friend, Mrs Sudha Rao was there, she walked only one round and said she was feeling very tired. She is 80 plus. Sometime she feels sad that she is not able to walk as much as she used to. We sat there for some time watching the changing colours of the sky as the sun was setting. It looks so beautiful.

20180911_183913After returning from there, I made ‘pathrode’ for tomorrow’s breakfast. My neighbour, Rekha gave me the ‘kesavina soppu’ (colocasia leaves). I will make ‘oggarane’ tomorrow. We all like it and Aravinda likes it very much. It is now 8.15, Aravinda will be back home at 8.45 from his German classes.
With love,
Lakshmi

Patrode Oggarane Recipe – Udupi Recipes

udupi-recipes.com/2014/09/patrode-oggarane-recipe.html
09-09-2014 · Ever since I started this space on web called udupi-recipes, it was my dream to post detailed recipe on patrode which is a unique dish from Udupi …

Lavani – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavani
Lavani (Marathi: लावणी) is a genre of music popular in Maharashtra. Lavani is a combination of traditional song and dance, which particularly performed to the beats of Dholki, a percussion instrument.
Typical instruments: Dholak
Cultural origins: 17th century

(I have been writing mails to my father’s elder brother’s wife since last October. Doddamma literally means elder mother. She is 87. She is not able to hear properly on the telephone, my cousin or his wife read my mails to her or they take a printout. She enjoys my slice of life. 😊 )

Letter from Home-23 ( Slice of Life)

Letter from Home- 22 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

3-09-18
Dear Doddamma,
We are all fine here. We were happy to see you in the video sent by Ila.
On the 30th we attended Meghana and Swastik’s wedding in the hall near Mahishamardini temple in Punacha near Vittla. Meghana is Shama and Mamatha’s daughter.

Meghana and Swasthik -30th (7)

They live in the smaller house in Mareel where my parents used to live till 2015. My father passed away in September 2016 and my mother lives with my elder brother and with us. Her house and land are looked after by Shama and Mamatha. Many of amma’s neighbours in Mareel came and talked to amma. It was nice meeting everyone. My elder brother had come from Hyderabad.

Meghana and Swasthik -30th (2)

On our way back we went to my cousin’s house. She is a professional baker. Her daughter is also with her. Their cakes are so beautiful to look at and very tasty. Aravind had asked for a cake for our wedding anniversary. It was very good. We returned home before it was dark.
Krishna Ashtami is being celebrated in Udupi from yesterday evening to late in the evening today. Kuvara went to Krishna temple today morning. There were hundreds of devotees from near and far. Various cultural programmes take place. Favourite is the ‘huli vesha’ dance (tiger dance) . Many teams come from different places. Many people dress in different costumes and go to different houses. People usually give some money. Most of them use the money they collect for some good use. Yesterday morning two boys , studying in class 7 had come. One was dressed as Lord Krishna and the other as a Rakshasa. We liked their enthusiasm.

20180902_083524Yesterday one of our neighbours’ celebrated the 75th birthday of their mother. They had invited many of the their relatives and friends for lunch. Their house is near our house. In the evening we all went to Endpoint for a walk. Kuvara and Aravinda went ahead. Amma was able to walk almost to the end. There are seats there. She was very happy that she could walk till there. From End point road we can see Swarna river flowing towards Arabian sea. On weekdays Aravinda has his German classes from 6 to 8.30. At 4.30 he and I go for a walk near our home for 25 minutes.

20180902_181926
For the past one week we are getting rains just once or twice in a day. This time we have had very good rains and they have also caused so much misery to countless people. For so many, life must seem so hopeless. Doddamma, some time ago a car accident took place in Neerchal, in our village where my father-in-law has lived for 93 years. My doddamma is my father-in-law’s cousin, she was born and brought up not far from Neerchal. The road is straight there but it happened at night, maybe the driver lost control, he died on spot. Once one person in his bike hit a pedestrian. I really don’t understand how people can lose control in such places. Maybe the straight road and no traffic makes them eager to go at full speed. It is very sad.
Today evening we went to the training college grounds. There are many wild flowers growing there. We met a lady who had collected a lot of them. It is now Shravana masa. She told us that they make small bouquets with flowers and a special grass called ‘garike hullu’ in Kannada, my language. These small bouquets are called ‘choodi’. They are used in prayers offered to the Sun God and the holy Basil plant every Friday and Sunday this month. This is called ‘choodi puja’ and is mainly observed by the Konkani speaking people. There are so many festivals in our country, it is very fascinating.
With lots of love,
Lakshmi

Durga – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahishamardini

 

Krishna Temple Udupi
udipikrishnamutt.com
Sri Krishna Mutt. Udupi 60 Kms north of Mangalore is the seat of Lord Krishna, considered to be one of the holiest places for pilgrimage in southern India.

Choodi Pooja – Importance of Choodi Pooja in Shravan Month in Karnataka …
https://www.hindu-blog.com/2008/08/choodi-puja.html

( I have been writing mails to my father’s elder brother’s wife since last October. Doddamma literally means elder mother. She is 87. She is not able to hear properly on the telephone, my cousin or his wife read my mails to her or they take a printout. She enjoys my slice of life 🙂 ).

Letter from Home- 22 (Slice of Life)

 

 

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #216 Hero&Coward

ronovan-writes-haiku-poertry-challenge-image-20161

“Kings of long ago
Fighting to protect their land
From all invaders,
Had no mercy for cowards.
And honoured all the heroes.”

I am reading a book about Rajput rulers and warriors living in the first half of the 16th century  and these thoughts came to mind. The story is in Chittor in Rajasthan. We were there a few years ago. Those places came alive while reading the book.

Cuckold (novel) – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuckold_(novel)

Cuckold is a 1997 book by Indian author Kiran Nagarkar and his third novel. It is a historical novel set in the Rajput kingdom of Mewar, India during the 16th century that follows the life of Maharaj Kumar, a fictional character based upon the real life Prince Bhoj Raj.

laxmi 011

laxmi 018

laxmi 021

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #216 Hero&Coward

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #8: COLORFUL

To some, each day brings a struggle to see beyond the darkness. For the rest of us, it is important to find moments of joy. We are surrounded by all of the colors of the rainbow, but it’s up to us to recognize and appreciate them. Remember, gratitude is recognized as one of the most important elements of a balanced, contented life.
So go ahead – find some colorful captures to make us smile.

A few weeks ago we were walking in one of our favourite grounds when I saw a colourful flower between the grass. It looked so beautiful. A friend said it is called ‘huli uguru’ in my language, Kannada. It means tiger’s claw. It is called flame lily or glory lily. The scientific name is ‘Gloriosa superba’.  My husband’s cousin is a botanist, he said it is a poisonous plant !!

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SIBM 3rd (1)

Flowers are beautiful and colourful.

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Photo Challenge? We do. That’s why we’re inviting you to join us for the new LENS-ARTISTS weekly photo challenge. Our goal is to continue our creative community on WordPress.
Each Saturday at noon EST we will publish a photo challenge similar in form to the now-defunct WPC. If you choose to participate, please make sure to tag your post with the name of our group LENS-ARTISTS so that all of Do you miss sharing your creative ideas and photos each week in the WordPress Weekly the responses can be found together in the WP Reader. Please also include a link to the challenge moderator’s post. One of our 4 moderators will host the challenge each week:
Week 1 – Patti of https://pilotfishblog.com/
Week 2 – Ann-Christine aka Leya of https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/
Week 3 – Amy of https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/
Week 4 – Tina of https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #8: COLORFUL

Vacation in the hills- 10 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

27-08-19
Dear Doddamma,
I am now writing about the last day of our trip. It seems like a dream now but a very nice dream. I had written to you that our last day had been a long one. We left Nainital in the morning. On our way to Haldwani where we had to catch the night bus to Delhi, we saw many lakes. The sight of so much water is very sartisfying.

On our way we saw Garud taal ( taal means lake). We  went on to a lake called Saathtaal. Long back there were seven lakes which merged to form this lake.

20180618_143647Boating is a prominent pastime in all the lakes. Near Saathtaal we had lunch in one of the lakeside hotels called Lucky restaurant. Sahil recommended this place because they serve vegetarian food. The food was very tasty. We saw rotis being baked in the tandoor. We decided to taste rice kheer which was very tasty.

20180618_150337Then we set off to the next lake. On the way purchased balmithai to take back with us. We reached Bhimtaal at 4.15. Here we enjoyed boating on the waters, which were surprisingly not cold at all. The boatman said he had been in this occupation for more than thirty years. There was a small island with a building which housed an aquarium. But we did not go there.

20180618_162725From there we went on and reached Naukuchia lake at 5.15. The word Naukuchia means nine corners. We sat by the side of the lake for half an hour watching people enjoying adventure activities on the lake.

20180618_145202At 6.30 we stopped to drink tea at roadside hotel. The tea was hot and very tasty. While waiting for the tea we watched with fascination water pouring out of a pipe on the other side of the road. It was from a natural spring. People were stopping to drink water, and others were cleaning their cars collecting water in their cans.

20180618_185117In cities there is shortage of water but here there is a surplus of the resource. People do not worry about this because they say it flows back into rivers.

At 7.30 we reach Haldwani . Our driver dropped us near the bus station. He would be driving back to Nainital the same evening. Forty two kms but 1 ½ hours on the road. We had to wait till 10.15 for our bus. It is fascinating to watch people. Next to us a girl and her grandmother were waiting for their bus which would leave at 8. They had come from near Kausani. One man was lying on the floor a little away. He was drunk and lost to this world. It is very sad to see such people. Our bus came on time and it was a relief to see a brand new coach. Remember all the trouble we had while coming to Haldwani from Delhi. Before boarding the bus we purchased some lychees and mangoes.

We reached Anand vihar bus station in Delhi before six on the 19th morning. We walked to the metro station. It was crowded that early in the morning. We went to New Delhi metro station and from there to the airport. We avoided travelling inside the city because the heat and pollution would have been too much after the fresh air of the hills. Somehow we did not feel like going inside Delhi again. Our flight to Bangalore was at 3.25. It was a long wait but we were not bored. We ate the lychees for breakfast, a healthy breakfast. 😊. We ate pav bhaji in the airport food court for lunch too after checking in. The flight was uneventful. We had been waiting long for our vacation to the hills, and now we were already back home after a wonderful time with good and bad moments. We reached Bangalore at 6.10 and went to our cousin’s house.

20180619_184414After dinner we caught our bus to Manipal at 10.45. We reached home at 8.30 on the 20th morning. Fortunately the bus driver stopped very near our home. It was raining. Fortunately it was a two minute walk to our home. It was good to be back.

Yesterday we had been to Maikuri ( where my father-in-law lives) He is 93. Due to rains everyday he had not been able to leave home. So we all went to my husband’s maternal uncle’s home in the village. They have now installed solar panels in their yard and use solar energy for all their requirements. My father-in-law was happy to learn more about it. It was a good change for him.  We left at 3.45 for home. There was lot of traffic and we reached home only at 6.45. I made boiled rice conjee and rasam for dinner.
I will write again soon. Aravind is busy with German certificate classes in the evening. Most of his students are from the Engineering college.
With lots of love,
Lakshmi

From the aeroplane
“A strange world
The land of white clouds
They look soft and quite solid
But they are floating in the vast sky
A blue and white world far above mother Earth.”

“Back
To home
Holidays
Experiences
Good and bad moments
Seeing old temples
Trekking through mountain valleys
Soaking feet in cold water
Many full lakes in this land of hills
Tasting local food made the days more fun.”

 

Bal Mithai – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bal_Mithai

 

Vacation in the hills-9 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

20-08-18
Dear doddamma,
Since yesterday we have been having a break from continuous rains. They are causing devastation in Coorg and many places in Karnataka and in Kerala. On Saturday, Kuvara’s old student had come to see him. She lives in Pondicherry but she is from Kerala. She said her home in her native place has been filled with water, her maternal uncle was missing but fortunately he returned. She said after the waters recede it will take people a long time to return to normal life. Such devastating rains came more than eighty years ago. It is really tragic. There will be so much suffering.

Two weeks ago we ate the last of the jackfruits from our tree. I have kept the raw jackfruit arils in the freezer to make dosa when Gayatri comes. I have also cooked ripe arils and have kept it in the freezer. Gayatri and children are coming here on November 8th. She will go to Banglaore when Vinay comes to stay with his parents. They will come here again and returning to Walldorf December end. Kavya and Advaith are fine. Advaith is having summer vacations. Kavya is sitting and also walking with support. She likes everything that Advaith does and is always laughing at his antics. They have a good time together.

1st uppinalli hakudu (5)

On the 10th Aravind’s friend came as examiner to a MA student. He also had to give a talk to first year MA students. He stayed with us. I made some of our dishes from ashgourd, horsegram, ridge gourd, boiled rice conjee and a dessert from mangoes. He enjoyed the food. He left Sunday afternoon. Morning he, Aravinda and Kuvara went to Udupi Sri Krishna temple. It was raining lightly. But they decided to go. He was happy that he could see the temple. His flight to Mumbai was at 6, he left home at 3.30 by taxi.

Manipal lake 13th (2)

Continuing about the last day of our trip. It is more than two months since we returned home. I am reliving those days as I am writing to you.Our stay in Nainital was very short, but interesting. Why is a place so popular with tourists? Our taxi driver, Sahil came at 11 o’clock and we started our return journey.
First, we stopped at View Point. We could see Nainital lake from there, it is about 1km long and ½ a km wide, in the shape of a mango. There are natural springs which prevent the lake from drying up. Fishing is not allowed, but boating is very popular. Sahil told us China Top and Tiffin Top are the highest peaks there. He said the Great wall of China was once visible from China top. There was a devastating landslide and the height of the peak was reduced. It was then renamed Naina Peak.

IMG_0614
From there we proceeded to a place called Lovers point and also suicide point. I really do not understand such places attract people. How can a place be lover’s point and a suicide point at the same time? Such a cynical pairing.
Our next stop was at a point from where we could see a lake called Khurpataal. Khurpa means cow’s hoof. The lake is in that shape. It looked very beautiful.

IMG_0639

We next stopped near Nainital lake. There was so much traffic on the main road and taxis were not allowed to halt for long. Our driver stopped for a minute by the side and asked us to get off the vehicle quickly. Near the lake there is a Masjid, a Gurudwara and a temple. There were people everywhere.

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I was reminded strongly of Istanbul, where there were tourists from all over the world. Here too the place was teeming with tourists. We first went to the Gurudwara, it was serene inside. We sat there for some time. We then walked on to Naina Devi temple.

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Usually near our temples there are many small shops selling all sorts of things and whatever is needed for puja in the temple. Here too it was the same. There were many shops selling trinkets, dresses, shawls, shoes and so on which attracted tourists. The temple had a good feel about it. Swami Vivekananda had been here. The number of tourists kept surprising us. At 1.30 we called Sahil and he told us to come by the side of the main road. We were talking about the number of tourists, the driver told us 80% of the people in Nainital depend upon tourism, 10% are in government jobs and 10% in other works. Our last day was a long one, so I will continue in my next mail.
With love,
Lakshmi

Vacation in the hills-9 (Slice of Life)