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Archive for the ‘From the Past’ Category

Mount Kailash Lingam

To the Hindus, the Himalayas are central to their cosmology. The peaks are the petals of the Golden Lotus which lord Vishnu created as a first step in the formation of the universe. On one of these peaks – Mount Kailash, sits Shiva in a state of perpetual meditation, generating the spiritual force that sustains the cosmos. Of the three worlds–patala (netherworld), prithvi (earth) and swargalok (heaven)–only Shiva lives on this planet and Mount Kailash is his abode.

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Sanjay Leela Bhansali of Devdas fame got standing ovation at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. Not for another Bollywood movie, but for an opera-ballet titled Padmavati: Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s adaptation of the 1923 opera-ballet by Albert Roussel, one of the greatest yet least understood masters of twentieth-century French music.

Padmavati_1

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Growing up we did not have much, but that did not stop us from being happy. Childhood is the best season of Indian life. Back then extended neighborhoods were still the norm: our front yards mingled with each other unaware of fences or formalities. We walked in any house without invitation; we got scolding from any parents without inhibition. We were fed, watched, and disciplined by all. We were the neighborhood kids, all twenty there of us.

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Temple in the middle of a roadIn the middle of a four-lane highway under a peepal tree sits a temple of Kali, goddess of destruction. Nine in the morning, in the crowd of office goers, bullock carts are in a rush to reach the mandi. Camels, elephants, cows, buffaloes, and hens all feel at home here. People get up, do their morning rituals, have tea, and talk to friends. Indian roads for a long time have been better suited for life than motor cars.

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