Posts Tagged ‘Deepavali’

So where were you on the night of Deepavali?

6 December 2012


A satellite image released by the national space and aeronautics administration (NASA), of India that is Bharat, on the night of Deepavali that is Diwali, 2012.

Photograph: courtesy NASA via Press Trust of India

Another reason why South is ahead of the North?*

24 October 2011

From all of us, to all of you, a very happy and safe Deepavali. Wherever you are, may the lights usher in peace, happiness, health, laughter, and just a little bit more prosperity. Hopefully, someday, the rest of India will make the effort to understand why we always celebrate every festival one day before them. Wink, wink.

(*churumuri cannot guarantee that this joke will have the same effect on everyone!)

Photographs: Commercial Street in Bangalore, all decked up on Deepavali eve, on Monday (Karnataka Photo News)

2010: Lights, camera, action and a very happy Deepavali

Lights, action, camera & a very happy Deepavali

4 November 2010

From all of us, to all of you, a very happy Deepavali. May the year ahead bring plenty of peace, happiness, health, light, laughter, and just a little bit more prosperity than the year gone by.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

How they are ruining my beloved Gandhi Bazaar

30 October 2009

ARUN PADAKI writes from Bangalore: The pleasure of shopping on Gandhi Bazaar Main Road in Basavanagudi may be lost forever, as an underpass at Tagore Circle will be in place by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

The ill-conceived and irrelevant underpass would not only consume the lush Tagore Park, but would render this pride of South Bangalore tree less.

An underpass at Tagore Park is nothing but a disaster on the residents of Basavanagudi.

This would end an era, in which Gandhi Bazaar has become a way of life. The historic Tagore Park would be gone forever and the tree lined Gandhi Bazaar Main Road would end up as a main arterial road connecting other localities, and in the process pushing the shoppers and vendors away.

Can one imagine the loss of shopping here on the eve of Gowri Habba, Ugadi or Deepavali?

BBMP has built a flyover at the National College Circle, just few hundred meters away from the proposed underpass that remains underutilized for more than two years.

Bangalore’s ethnicity and tradition is best seen at Basavanagudi.  Instead of turning this into a concrete mess, Gandhi Bazaar should be converted into a cultural hotspot, a shopper’s delight and a walker’s loved place.

Let every day be Deepavali, let every day be Gowri Habba, let every day be Ugadi.

Tagore Park with its elevated podium could be a place where cultural programmes could be performed, while the audiences could have multiple options to sit, squat or stand with their friends and family.

While the people here are rather quiet about this apart from talking to the press, not much action is seen to thwart this irrelevant project.

The elected representatives who opposed this not too long ago are not to be heard this time, indicating that they have either supported this underpass quietly or their efforts to stall this project has been disregarded by their own ruling party and their Member of Parliament, Ananth Kumar.

Be it the Congress or the BJP, there seems to be no difference. It is clear that their fad for flyovers is ruining Bangalore in general, and Basavanagudi and V.V. Puram in particular. People are now aware that their views hold no water and hopefully are wise enough to choose a better representative in the ensuing BBMP polls.

When Shankar went to buy crackers on Deepavali

27 October 2008

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: The crowd around was laughing and jeering at her. Her saree was torn and hair disheveled and she was not even conscious of that. She was alternately laughing and crying while shouting ‘Nanna maduve Aagthiyeno?’ (‘Will you marry me?’)

Narahari (name changed) came out running and took Lakshmi home.


Lakshmi (name changed) was my classmate Narahari’s sister.

Born to a middle-class family, her father was an accountant in the AG’s office in Bangalore. Lakshmi was a very pretty girl and a tomboy to boot. As a child she liked to play ‘gombe aata ‘ with her toys, setting up a home, cooking for her husband while cradling a baby in her arms.  She loved playing with ‘Pattada Gombe’ before her parents set up the stalls for Navarathri.

As was the custom those days, the elders decided that she would be married to Bhaskar, Lakshmi’s mother’s brother.

In family gatherings, they would often tease Bhaskar as to when he would marry Lakshmi. Lakshmi herself would ask him, ‘Nanna yavaga maduve aagthiyo, nanna ganda?!’ (When will you marry me, my husband?!).  His discomfiture made elders laugh at Bhaskar who by now had turned crimson. On ‘Bheemana Amavase’ she would pray god to grant her a good husband.

After degree, I joined engineering and Narahari went for medicine. Bhaskar went to Manipal to study medicine.  Lakshmi grew into a beautiful girl and after her graduation took up music. A tomboy gradually grew into a demure and charming girl.

We didn’t have much of communication and once in a way, I would drop into Narahari’s house.  Once I jokingly asked Lakshmi, “How is your would be husband, Bhaskar?”

She blushed and ran inside.

Bhaskar’s visit to Bangalore gradually reduced as he was busy with his internship.  When the date was fixed for his  ‘Nishchiithartha’ (engagement ceremony) after his graduation, Bhaskar shocked everybody saying he was in love with a classmate and he didn’t want to marry Lakshmi.

He snubbed his parents saying elders had no business to get their children betrothed and marriage was certainly not child’s play.

Bhaskar’s decision, a shocker to everybody, was more so to Lakshmi who had grown with the thought that Bhaskar was her husband ever since she was barely three years old.

It was a dream that lay shattered.

Bhaskar married his colleague Shaila (name changed) and set up a clinic in Bangalore. Meanwhile, Lakshmi immersed herself in Carnatic music and started giving free lessons to the girls of Abalashrama in Gandhi Bazaar and took pains to settle the girls in life through marriage or a job. If there was any chance for an alliance or a job for any of her students she would run across to explore the opportunity. She flatly refused to have any discussion at home about her own marriage.

It was in one such meeting, she met Shankar (name changed) who had a business of his own. Ever since he lost his parents in an accident, that left his sister Priya (name changed) partially paralysed, he had decided to remain a bachelor. He was selling imported equipment and mostly supplied to defence establishments in Bangalore. Deeply interested in music, he was a member of the Gayana Samaja. Shankar hired meritorious but disabled and disadvantaged people in his company as he felt equal opportunity should be given to all.

Though nothing came out of Lakshmi’s meeting with Shankar, their common ideals and tastes brought them closer. He saw and admired the efforts Lakshmi made to settle her students in life and pitched in help wherever possible.

Though it started as a professional relationship, it soon blossomed into a friendship. They started attending concerts together. Shankar also encouraged her students by giving them chance to sing in junior artistes’ competition in Gayana Samaja.

Lakshmi had confided in him her failed alliance with Bhaskar and Shankar in turn, about his sister whom he will have to take care lifelong.

It was on the eve of Dasara, Shankar confessed his love for her. He had broached the topic just as she was arranging the ‘Pattada Gombe’ for Navarathri celebrations. As she listened to him, memories of her childhood flashed across when she grew up thinking Bhaskar as her husband.

“Have I come out of my ‘Gombe Aata’ days,” she wondered. “Will I be able to look after Shankar’s disabled sister for the rest of my life?”

She knew Shankar loved her deeply and was scared that she might lose him too if she didn’t decide soon. Next morning, she phoned Shankar and gave her consent.

They decided to get married in a temple by just exchanging garlands. Prior to that, they planned to inform their close relatives.

On Deepavali eve, they went to buy clothes for their wedding. Shankar chose a traditional red colour saree for Lakshmi, and she bought a salwar-kurtha set for him.

While they were driving home, Shankar wanted to stop by in the City Market and buy fire-crackers for his office staff.

He parked the car across and while he was coming back with the packet of crackers in hand, a fire broke in one of the shops which soon spread and the whole shopping area was ablaze. The crackers in his hand burst knocking him down.

Lakshmi who was only few metres from the ghastly scene, got out of the car and ran towards Shankar even as she saw him getting engulfed in the blazing inferno. She fainted right there. Some samaritans rushed and tried to save as many lives as they could.

Shankar’s body was charred and he succumbed to third degree burns in the hospital.

When Lakshmi woke up she was at home. She was still in a daze but wanted to see him. When she saw Shankar for the last time, she did not cry but ran back to her room and would not open the door.

Much later when they had all come back from the funeral, she opened the door and came out. She was decked up fully in the bridal red saree with the pallu drawn up to her forehead as a bride. Suddenly she started laughing and started tearing her saree.

When Narahari and Bhaskar ran to hold her, she was alternately laughing and crying, saying ‘Nanna maduve agthiyeno? (‘Will you marry me?’)

Also read: For Shyam and Madhu, the show had to go on

How Suma didn’t let her eyes block her vision

The spirit of Subbanna that Bhattru couldn’t stifle

What Seetamma’s son could teach our netas

The roadside boost that Bindra had no role in

23 October 2008

Sharpshooting, smooth talking cracker salesmen test their marketing skills on customers with toy guns on the eve of Deepavali on Cubbon Road in Bangalore on Thursday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

What our festivals tell us about ourselves

11 November 2007

Sudheendra Kulkarni in The Indian Express:

“One way of understanding India is to understand our festivals. They tell us about India’s civilisational continuity… Each of our festivals represent mythology’s leap into modern times, an epic’s entry into our lives.

“Our festivals tell us about the importance of thanksgiving to the Creator. They tell us how to discover happiness, harmony and life’s meaning in ourselves and in our relationship with others, with nature, with the cosmos.”

Read the full column here: To know India, know its festivals

Sadly, it’s not a Happy Deepavali for everybody

9 November 2007

A suitable gift for someone you love (or hate)

22 October 2007

The festival season has begun, and it is a time to give, to all those whom we love—and even to those we don’t.

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN has chosen to send out gifts to some of our VIPs. And he is giving away cassettes which they may never listen to, or books they may read, even gift coupons they may not accept.


To H.D. KumaraswamyNeenarigadeyo elamanava

To B.S. YediyurappaNinna nambi kettavaruntu

To H.D. Deve Gowda… A lesson. Period. (But will he learn?)

To H.D. Revanna… A slogan, “Appa, mera number kabh aayega?”

To Siddaramaiah… A talking doll which screams, ‘Mein kaun hoon, mein kaha hoon?

To Governor Rameshwar Thakur… A title, Uncrowned King of Karnataka

To Benazir Bhutto… An email, “Is there life after near-death?”

To Pervez Musharraf… A ‘birthday suit’, which he doesn’t want

To Manmohan Singh… A baton, to hand over

To Rahul Gandhi… A baton, to receive

To Sonia Gandhi… A whistle, to start the exchange of batons

To Prakash Karat… The title, Chairman Karat

To Brinda Karat… A bindi in the size of the new two-rupee coin

To Thiru Karunanidhi… ‘A burning sethu

To Andrew Symonds… A lesson, that racism is a two-way street

To Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly… A copy each of The last days of PompeiiTo Rahul Dravid… Audio book of ‘Paradise lost

To Mahendra Singh Dhoni… A rendition of ‘Paradise ‘gained’ (apologies to Milton)

To Ricky Ponting… A lesson, that 20/20 is bigger than 50/50

To the Stock Market… A yo-yo toy


Join in the give-and-take revelry. Who would you like to send a gift to?