Excerpts from the book “Festivals of India”
Published by National Book Trust, India.
Festivals bring large numbers of people together in a spirit of joy or devotion, or both. But there is one festival that combines joy and devotion with physical rigour.
One evening, an old man was passing through a village. From the interior of a small house, he heard a sweet, melodious voice singing. He stood outside on the road till the song ended. Then he went near the house and looked inside.
On top of a three-hundred-foot hill was a quaint old temple. A hunched, old man performed puja here. Enshrined in the centre of the temple was a beautiful idol. Usha and Lalita, two good friends, enjoyed talking to the kindly temple priest and watching him adorn the beautiful idol with multicoloured flowers.
Excerpts from ‘Books Forever’
Written by Manoj Das
Published by National Book Trust, New Delhi
India’s literary past is indeed great. It’s a known fact that many of the parables of the Bible, the fables of Aesop of Greece, the folktales collected by the Grimm brothers of Germany and the tales retold by Hans Andersen of Denmark had their origin in India.
A wandering youth once met Bholu, an illiterate villager, who knew how to perform a miracle. Everyday Bholu would go into the forest, stand under a mango tree and utter a charm. The tree would immediately become heavy with fruit.
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