Categories
Life Song of the Road

Flower of the Day challenge

This challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and color into our daily lives.

fotd-banner

This is a wild flower growing in our front yard 🙂

24th (2)

Categories
Life reflections Song of the Road

A Photo a Week challenge : Peaceful Place

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO THAT BRING YOU PEACE.

20180527_175934

Our small town is located on a hill. One end of this hill is called EndPoint. For me this is a very peaceful place. We can see the Arabian sea in the distance, the river Swarna flowing towards the sea. There is peace and quiet here. We used to go there at least four times a week for our evening walk.  Waiting to go there 🙂

img-20190207-wa0028

Walking around the lake in our place is another favourite place. Looking at the sun set on the lake and feeling the fresh breeze brings peace to the mind.

20181221_181832

Venugopala temple and the park in front of it is another peaceful place in our town.

“Peace comes from within.  Do not seek it without.”
 Gautama  Buddha

Categories
Life Song of the Road

A Photo a week challenge : Up in the air

In January, we were in Amritsar, it all seems like a dream now. The corona virus is ruling our lives.

On the 2nd evening we were in Harmandir Sahib or the Golden temple. People were celebrating the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh. At night, after the prayers there were fireworks, looking like stars up in the air.

2nd (59)

2nd (61)

 

Categories
Life Song of the Road

Photo-a-week-challenge-red

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO THAT HAS RED AS EITHER THE MAIN OR AN ACCENT COLOR.

In January  we were in the Golden temple or Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. It is the most sacred place for the Sikh community. In fact, people of all communities go there. It is a very spiritual and sacred place, service and devotion is inherent there.

The red carpets in the temple complex seem to say that each and every devotee is a very important person.

IMG_20200103_190327

IMG-20200103-WA0008

20200102_163149

 

 

Categories
Life Song of the Road

A Photo a Week Challenge : Landscape

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) OF LANDSCAPES.

Early this month we had been to Amritsar in Punjab. The land there is level and we see fields stretching away for miles. Our place is a hill region and we do not see such landscapes. It is a fascinating difference.

5th (3)

img_20200108_121721

20200105_103302

 

 

Categories
Life Song of the Road

Write. Share. Give. #SOL20 , Everyday Moments

slice-of-life_individual

My weekly Slice of Life are my letters to my Doddamma. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is 88 years old. She cannot hear properly if I telephone to talk to her. So, I have been writing letters to her since October 2017. I enjoy writing letters and she is happy to read them. They are only about the everyday moments in my life. I post my letters to her every week.
My letters to my doddamma are about our trip to Amritsar and Dharamsala between 1st and 9th of this month. So I am sharing the same in my Slice of Life post.
28-01-2020

Amritsar 4-01-2020
The first two days of our vacation were wonderful. On the 3rd day, we had planned to go to Dera Baba Nanak (DBN). It is a very important place of pilgrimage for the Sikhs. We wanted to see the country side and a friend suggested DBN. This friend lives in Muktsar. We came to know him through Aravind’s teacher. We have exchanged WhatsApp messages, and talked to each other. It was he who suggested the hotel we were staying at.
I am not very sure how big the city is. But one thing which was very apparent was the absence of tall buildings, specially apartments. They may be present in the newer parts of Amritsar. The houses we saw looked pale and dusty. We hardly saw bright, colourful buildings.

We hired a taxi for the day and set out at 9.15. We saw miles and miles of wheat fields stretching on either side of the road. Dakshina Kannada is a hilly region. Level land is scarce. But in Punjab it was different. There were not many trees but the fields seemed to stretch forever. Vegetables too were being grown. There were mustard fields in full bloom.

img_20200104_094049
My husband’s student is in the army. He had asked his friend, also in the army, to arrange for a guide to show us around. DBN is on the banks of the river Ravi. The Jawan joined us at a check point. I forget his name. We first went to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib. We sat inside for some time. It was bitterly cold for us. In front of the Gurudwar a new Gurudwara building was being constructed.

4th DBN, border (10)

We were told the more money had flowed into this place due to the Kartarpur corridor. We then went to the Langar hall. Our taxi driver had told us we could breakfast there. We were served Chapati, Chole, Dal and seasoned rice. We walked around for a while. Here too there was small sarovar which was being renovated. We saw a man selling books about Sikhism. Most of the books were in Hindi. But we got one in English. When we asked the book-seller the price, he said that we could pay the amount we wished. The money from the sale of books would be used to support the homeless. He also gave a few Hindi books and told us to read and pass them on. My mother is reading them now.

We next went to Gurudwara Chola Sahib. Two people were reading the Adi Granth. This Gurudwara is connected with a chola or cloak believed to have been presented to Guru Nanak by a Muslim devotee at Bhagdad. The cloak was brought to DBN on 1st march 1828. Later we learnt that there are certain streets and houses in DBN which have been preserved since the time of Guru Nanak. We missed seeing them.

4th DBN, border (15)
DBN is situated about 1km from Indo Pakistan border. From the gurudwara we went to the border near ‘Kartarpur corridor’. Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan is one of the holiest places for the Sikhs. It is about 4 ½ kms from India and it seems that on a clear day people can see it through the binoculars. But on this day it was misty. We stood on high ground and below were rich fields with a barbed wire fence running lengthwise across them. A sad testimony to human stupidity. In the Partition museum we had learnt that Cyril Radcliffe, the lawyer who was tasked to carry out the partition, simply drew a line on a map without considering the realities of Indian life.

4th DBN, border (20)

From DBN we came to a cultural village just outside Amritsar called Sadda Pind . The place highlights the different aspects of pre-independence Punjabi village. It is tourist oriented but we liked the place. We have to buy tickets at the entrance. The ticket includes food in the restaurant I was surprised to see brass glasses exhibited on one shelves. My mother has similar glass which she said was with my father from before their marriage. We used to wonder about the glass. My father must have got it while on his tours. He worked in the Indian railways.

4th Sadda pind (57)
Just inside the entrance there were pots on a water pipe all along the path. They were adapted fountains. We walked on to see many people watching a magician. He was doing many tricks and had a good way of talking. We walked into a weaver’s house, then a carpenters and so on. There was a very large ‘charpoy’. We owned one long back when we were in Delhi. Charpoys are very comfortable to lie on. In one of the houses a few ladies were sitting in an open kitchen and cooking ‘makki ki roti’ on a chulah and were serving ‘sarson ka saag’. Both are very tasty. Sarson is mustard and a dish is prepared from the leaves.

4th Sadda pind (27)

We drank spicy lassi which was very tasty. Beautiful hand embroidered materials with the famous Punjabi work called Phulkari were available. But we did not buy anything because they were too expensive. As we were walking we heard drums and saw gymnasts doing a balancing act on a tight rope stretched between two poles. A man was on the tight rope. I had seen such acts long ago, they used to be shown in movies. I was just checking about this and saw they are still being performed in village fairs. We also watched a rustic puppet show. There was a giant wheel and a ride was included in the ticket. It had been a long time since we had enjoyed a ride on a wheel. The operator gave us some extra rounds I think 😊. We told him that we had enjoyed the ride. From the top we could see fields in every direction. The soil here is black in colour and very fertile. We then walked into the restaurant for lunch. There was a buffet with many Punjabi dishes. I enjoyed ‘dahi vada’. Curds and lassi here are very tasty. I also liked the taste of raw radish. We had spent many hours at Sadda Pind.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped to buy some fruits. Later in the evening my husband’s student came to see us in the hotel. We enjoyed his visit. My husband was seeing him after many years.
After he left, we went to GT again. I am glad our hotel was so near the temple. It was a pleasure to visit the place again and again. Our friend had told us about a very old book shop near GT, Singh Brothers. He said there was very good book about the travels of Guru Nanak. It was Walking with Nanak by Haroon Khalid. It seemed to be a very interesting book, Aravind purchased it.

4th night (3)

We walked on to the square. Adjacent to GT is a huge square with a marble floor. There were benches and a fountain in the centre. It was very cold. There are four entrances to GT, one of them is from the square. Through that entrance we can see the golden walls of the shrine and it appears as if it is very near the gate. It looked beautiful. We walked a little away and from one of the shops bought ‘papad’ and ‘Amritsar wadi’. Even at that hour there were lots of people and in their midst we saw a very old temple, Temple of Shri Sheni. It was established in 1761. We wanted to see it during daytime but somehow we could not. A lot of poor people were sitting outside the temple. Maybe they were beggars, I am not sure.

Lunch had been very heavy and we decided to skip dinner. We ate some fruits and retired for the day. It had been a long one.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurudwara_Sahib
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurdwara_Darbar_Sahib_Kartarpur
https://foodviva.com/punjabi-recipes/makki-ki-roti/
https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/sarson-ka-saag/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phulkari
https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/dahi-vada-recipe/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amritsari_Papar_Warian

Categories
Life Song of the Road

Three-things-challenge #120

2020-logo.jpg Three things challenge

Every day I’ll give you three words that will hopefully trigger your creativity.
No need to use them all if you don’t want to, simply read the prompt and see what it brings to mind.
You can use the 3TC, #threethingschallenge or TTC as a tag and the new logo if you wish.
There are no restrictions regarding length, style, or genre apart from keeping it family friendly.
Have fun!

Your three words today are:
TEA
NAP
MAT

These words reminded me of our short naps after lunch. We sleep either on the floor or spread a mat and lie down on it. We take a nap for about fifteen minutes. It would be nice to drink a glass of hot tea after the nap, nicer still if someone handed me that while I relaxed on the mat 😊. But, usually it is too early for a glass of tea.

Categories
Life Song of the Road

Three Things challenge #116

2020-logo.jpg Three things challenge

Every day I’ll give you three words that will hopefully trigger your creativity.
No need to use them all if you don’t want to, simply read the prompt and see what it brings to mind.

You can use the 3TC, #threethingschallenge or TTC as a tag and the new logo if you wish.
There are no restrictions regarding length, style, or genre apart from keeping it family friendly.
Invite us along by creating a pingback to this post, then leave a link in the comments so that other people can read your writings and I’ll see it to respond to you directly.
Bear in mind although the challenge will go out around 6.30am UK time, pingbacks have to be approved manually so might not show immediately if I’m late accessing my blog.
I look forward to reading your responses.
Have fun!
Your three words today are:
SECRET
MARSHMALLOWS
LUCK

‘ Soft and spongy piece

Never tasted marshmallow

Sweet experience.’

 

 

Categories
Life Song of the Road

Everyday Moments- (Write. Share. Give. #SOL20)

slice-of-life_individual

My weekly Slice of Life are my letters to my Doddamma. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is 88 years old. She cannot hear properly if I telephone to talk to her. So, I have been writing letters to her since October 2017. I enjoy writing letters and she is happy to read them. They are only about the everyday moments in my life. I post my letters to her every week.

2-01-2020

Amritsar, Punjab

We planned our vacation a few months ago. We wanted to go to Amritsar, home of the Golden Temple (GT) or Harmandir Sahib and to Mcleodganj in Dharamsala. The Dalai Lama visits the Tsuglakhang Temple, popularly known as the Dalai Lama temple two or three times in a year.

We left on the 1st evening for Hyderabad. We stayed the night with anna (elder brother). On 2nd morning our flight to Amritsar was at 8 o’clock. I always feel a little apprehensive when the plane takes off since there is nothing under us. But when we go above the clouds it is like being in a different world. The clouds look like the infinite ocean.

We reached Amritsar at 11. We had to put on our sweaters as it was very cold. Our hotel was very near the Golden temple which is in the older part of the city. We told the driver that we would call the hotel and the receptionist would give the directions but they had more faith in the GPS. At the end we had to take an electric autorickshaw 😊 from one point as the roads were too narrow. Only electric autorickshaws are allowed near GT. The narrow alleys of the old part of the city with shops and eateries on both sides are fascinating. Our hotel was good and the staff helpful.

20200108_193325

We went to the G T at 2.15, just five minutes away. At the entrance there is a shoe and baggage counter. We kept our footwear there. Before entering the temple complex we have to cross a stream of running water to clean our feet. All have to cover their heads and scarves are provided. I covered my head with my shawl.

img-20200103-wa0016

Entering the complex was like entering a different world. On the right side is the AkalTakth and on the left, the entrance to the Golden Temple. It is a small and beautiful shrine. We joined the queue and slowly made our way towards the sanctum. The temple was as beautiful inside as it was on the outside. There are floral designs on the wall and some inscriptions too. There are carpets everywhere for people to sit. In the central chamber the Adi Granth was being read. We sat outside the sanctum for some time and then went to the first floor. We sat there too. There was peace and serenity in the air. We were inside the temple for more than an hour. It was a divine experience. We were given Kada Prasad when we came out of the temple. The prasad is made from wheat flour, ghee and sugar. It was delicious.

20200102_182931

That day ( 2nd January) was the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh, the spiritual leader of the Sikhs. We were lucky to be there. There were fireworks. Hymns were sung continuously. Thousands of diyas and candles were lit. The final Ardas or the ultimate prayer address to the Almighty was powerful and touched the heart. Everyone was standing and when the hymn ended all knelt, facing the temple and touched their head to the ground. It was an emotional moment too. Then we went to the Langar hall to have food. The feeling of service and devotion is inherent in the temple complex. All are welcome to eat food that is served there. We were served chapati, dal, a vegetable dish and rice kheer. Devotees do all the work as part of their service to God. There is no discrimination at all. We learnt that food is served twenty fours a day.

20200102_185456

The Golden temple is closed from 11 pm to 22 am when the Guru Granth Sahib is taken from the temple to the Akal Takth.
That day was an amazing day. Being in the temple complex, watching all the devotees and soaking in the atmosphere is an experience of a life time. We went back to the hotel at 8.30.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmandir_Sahib
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akal_Takht
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Gobind_Singh
https://www.republicworld.com/lifestyle/festivals/guru-gobind-singh-jayanti-2020-significance-of-the-festival.html
https://www.learnreligions.com/illustrated-prashad-recipe-2993137

50,000 Free Hot Meals a Day and 9 Other Amazing Facts About the Langar at the Golden Temple


https://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Golden_Kitchen

Categories
Life Song of the Road

#SoCS 2020 – Jan. 11th

socs-badge-2019-2020

Your prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “the first 3 words of the first full sentence.” Okay, follow me here. This is what I want you to do: 1. Grab the closest book to you when you sit down to write your post. 2. Open it to a random page. 3. Locate the first complete sentence on that page. 4. Use the first three words of that sentence to start your post, then take it from there–write whatever comes to mind. That’s it! Have fun!

I am reading ‘From the Holy Mountain’ by William Dalrymple.
The first three words of the complete sentence on page 72 are ‘Back at the’…

Back at the hotel after spending the whole evening at the Golden Temple was like returning from another world, a divine and spiritual world to the mundane. We were on a vacation from 1st January to 9th January. We had wanted to go to Amritsar, home of the Golden Temple and to Dharamsala, home to Dalai Lama.
Our hotel was very near to the temple. We went there every evening and it was like being in a different world. Devotees kept coming at all times. The feeling of devotion and of service is felt in every part of the temple complex. People are served food (Langar) at all times, day and night. The temple is in the middle of a man-made pond. Seeing the golden temple reflected in the water adds to that special feeling inherent in the place.
I will post photos which say so much more than words but being there was an experience of a life time. We were happy that we decided to go to Amritsar. And the cold was another new experience, there and in Dharamsala 😊. When we told people there that our place does not have a winter season, they were surprised😊.

20200102_174346

20200102_175521

20200102_172743

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langar_(Sikhism)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmandir_Sahib