the-day-music-died

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Freddie Mercury – The day music will die

Spot the difference -I

I remember playing this game as a kid. I used used look forward to the Sunday’s newspaper. Reminiscing old days…lets see if you get this. Answers in the second image.

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I am sure you would have got the answers…let’s check them…

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🙂 🙂 🙂

Home is where MOM is!

“Goodbye Mom,” I said as I stepped out of the house and kissed my mother on her forehead. I was a warrior now; I had to go and fight my battles. She had a plethora of emotions on her face; joy, grief, pride, concern, fear…they were endless. I couldn’t attempt to understand all of them. I was 21 years old and full of enthusiasm. My academic life was behind me now. I had been offered a job in a different country and I was heading there.

I stepped out and got into a taxi to get to the airport. I turned back to wave her goodbye one last time; she was smiling with her hands folded in a silent prayer; tears rolling down her cheeks. I didn’t want her to cry but she was always an emotional person; all mothers were.

At the airport, the image of my mother standing at the door was fading out. I was absorbing the advent of my new life – a beginning.

I had a connecting flight with a layover of 8 hours at an intermediate airport. I checked in my luggage, got past the security and plopped myself in the lounge chair listening to Adele.

I was leaving everything behind. My friends, family, city, the promenade and my oh-so-dear love interest. I was at an age where I needed to create my own world. Professional success, a good house, nice car, marriage, kids and a comfortable retirement; my road ahead was chalked out.

The flight departed on time; I was going to face my destiny soon.

We arrived at the intermediate airport after 6 hours of flying. My co-passengers looked tired, not me. Every inch of my body was pulsating with enthusiasm and anticipation. I decided to grab a bite and then cuddle up in a nice corner listening to music or catching forty winks.

It was around 4 in the afternoon when we got there. The waiting lounge overlooked an open reserved area which was not used for any aviation purpose. I could see some local children playing there; probably family members of the staff working at the airport and living in staff quarters nearby. They seemed to be having so much fun; kids mostly not more than 12 years of age.

Suddenly, a car approached the playing area and stopped in the middle of the ground. Four young boys alighted and looked around rather suspiciously. This grabbed my attention as I stared intently to see what they were up to. One of them then headed towards the rear of the car and opened the trunk.

What I saw next was unbelievable. Eight puppies, cute as they can be, were sitting in the trunk of the car. I was at a fair distance but I could understand that they were scared. These four guys picked up the puppies one by one and placed them on the ground. I thought that was a really sweet gesture as I assumed that these guys had brought the puppies to the ground to play. I was WRONG!

What they did next was heart wrenching. One by one they got back in to the car and started driving off. The innocent puppies started running frantically behind the car – they could sense that they were being abandoned. They ran with all the might they had; poor little souls. Before long the car had sped off and the puppies gave up on the chase.

This area was apparently highly infested by stray dogs. Before long, a pack of strays started circling these puppies. They were not looking friendly even from where I was sitting. They approached the puppies and started pawing them. They were certainly not playing. The puppies looked in grave danger.

Suddenly, another stray appeared from behind them. She looked older than the lot. The moment she saw what these strays were doing she started barking and howling and scared them off. All the eight puppies, as if on instinct, positioned themselves behind her. She was their knight in the shining armor.

But the strays weren’t going to give up so easily. They encircled her and started yelping from all sides. She wasn’t going to give up without a fight. She had to be a warrior. They strays attacked her from all sides simultaneously; the warfare of the wild. The ground had a lot of loose soil on it and soon the area was covered in dust.

I was on my feet by now. I wanted to go and help those poor puppies and their protector. I rushed towards the exit and explained the situation to the security personnel. Smirks and giggles and raised brows were all I got. I was on a connecting flight and I couldn’t exit the airport; those were the rules.

I ran back to the spot overlooking the fight. Some local kids had reached the area and were enjoying the fight. They were not even attempting to make it stop! I couldn’t just stand there doing nothing. I approached the security personnel again and tried persuading them to send someone out to stop the fight. Luckily, sense prevailed and they sent a young officer to the play area.

I rushed back to the waiting lounge. The officer approached the scene with a long stick in his hands and before long he managed to disperse the strays. The dust settled. The warrior-mother was lying on the ground – bleeding. The puppies were all around her licking her wounds and comforting her. She had gone beyond the point of recovery and within minutes she closed the eyes and lied there motionless.

The puppies didn’t understand death. They were continuously licking her wounds and snuggling under her paws. My tears couldn’t hold back anymore.

The security officer turned to look towards me and I signaled him to get the puppies to me. He managed to get a big cane basket and with the help of the local boys he put all the puppies in the basket and headed back.

The sight of my mother at the door flashed before my eyes. The warrior who had died moments back was certainly not the mother of these puppies but she certainly was a mother nonetheless.

I thanked the security team for taking action and took the basket with me. That day I learnt the biggest lesson of my life.

There is no bigger wealth than the presence of your mother in your life.

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I sat in the lounging chair, logged in to the airline’s website, cancelled my ticked and booked a ticket to get me and these puppies back HOME.

shoshti

On Mahalaya – the last day of Pitru Pakhsa and the beginning of Devi Paksha – Goddess Durga came to Earth to battle Mahishasur. She fought him for nine days and nights and on the tenth day, Mahishasur was killed.

Shosthi is the sixth day of Devi Pakhsha and marks the formal beginning of Durga Puja in Bengal. In West Bengal and other Eastern part of India, the following four rituals are performed on Sasthi –

  • Kalparambho (the beginning of the Pujo)
  • Bodhan (the consecration of Ma Durga’s idol)
  • Amantran (inviting the Goddess)
  • Adhivas (sanctifying the stay of the Goddess in the puja area of the pandals)

The ‘Bodhon’ rituals include the unveiling of the face of the idol. Bodhon, Amontron and Adibas are the important rituals of Sasthi apart from Kalparambho.

But Bengalis believe that on the day of Sasthi, Uma (Goddess Durga), who is identified with Parvati the divine consort of Shiva comes to home of her father from her husband place with her 4 children -Ganesha, Kartika, Laxmi and Saraswati.

This is why all the ladies participate in the setting up of the Durga Ghat before the idol on Sasthi. They formally welcome Uma as a daughter on her arrival for three day trip to his father’s house. In other parts of India the sixth day of Navaratri is celebrated as Durga Sasthi or Maha Sasthi.

Shubho Shoshti

The PUJO begins…

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Durga Puja also referred to as Durgotsava or Sharadotsav is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates worship of the Hindu goddess Durga.

It refers to all the six days observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami, and Vijayadashami.

Durga Puja festival is celebrated from the sixth to tenth day of bright lunar fortnight. This period falls in the fortnight corresponding to the festival is called Devi Paksha, “Fortnight of the Goddess”.

Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Thus, Durga Puja festival epitomises the victory of Good over Evil. In Bengal, Durga is worshipped as Durgotinashini, the destroyer of evil and the protector of her devotees.

According to Hindu mythology, Mahishasura was a combination of both an Asura and a Mahisha (Water buffalo) with trident. He intended to annihilate all the Devas since they were the arch-enemies of Asuras. The legend of Mahishasura is important in Hindu mythology since the goddess Durga was born in order to slay him. Therefore, his story is an important part of shaktiism which venerates the goddess Durga.

Rambha, the king of Asuras, was enticed with the beauty of a she-buffalo and eventually married her. The child who was born from this bestial union was named Mahishasura, because he was half-buffalo and half-human (Mahisha literally means buffalo). As an Asura, Mahishasura wanted to wage war against the Devas, who were the Asuras’ arch-enemies. To make himself invincible Mahishasura performed austerities (tapas) to Brahma and asked to be granted immortality. Brahma refused him the boon of immortality and instead gave him a boon such that his death would happen only at the hands of a woman. Mahishasura imagined that this was the equivalent of immortality, since he believed it was impossible for a woman to slay a person of his strength. Emboldened by this belief, he started a war with the Devas. In the battle that ensued, the Devas, led by Indra, were defeated. At this point the Devas approached the trinity of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu to seek help. The three great gods combined their divine energies and created a woman. The Goddess thus created was Durga. Durga led a battle against Mahishasura durga-pooja3and killed him, thus fulfilling the prophecy that he would meet his death at the hands of a woman.

The actual worship of the Goddess Durga as stipulated by the Hindu scriptures falls in the month of Chaitra, which roughly overlaps with March or April and is called Basanti Durga Puja. This ceremony is not observed by many and is restricted to a handful in the state of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura. The more popular form, which is also known as Sharadiya (Autumnal) Durga Puja, is celebrated later in the year with the dates falling either in September or October. Since the Goddess is invoked at the wrong time, it is called “Akaal Bodhon” in Bengali.

There is also a mythological belief that Lord Ram, who was a Durga worshiper, worshiped Goddess Durga before going to war with Ravana. Rama had performed “Chandi Homa” and invoked the blessings of Durga, who blessed Rama with secret knowledge of the way to kill Ravana. On the day of Ashvin Shukla Dashami, Rama’s party found Sita and defeated Ravana. This day is thus also celebrated as Dussehra.