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Holi – The Colours of Spring

Holi – The Colours of Spring

Quick, think of spring and what comes to mind? The festival of Holi, of course!! Think of Holi and what springs to mind? ‘Gulal’ or dry colours in bright shades, ‘pichkaris’ or water pistols, and buckets of water to drench people, right? For, winter has finally come to an end, and the friendly mischief of spring is in the air. And so, on the day of Holi, huge armies of children and adults come out on the streets....

Easter's Here

Easter's Here

Go out into the market on Easter and you cannot miss the Easter egg on the shop counter – filled with sweets and chocolates, it is irresistible. Several people also paint eggs or emboss chocolate eggs with sugar flowers to gift to friends and relatives. But what is Easter? Easter Sunday falls on the Sunday after Good Friday and on this day Easter eggs are available in the market – that is what most of us know....

Seeing the City

Seeing the City

I have a friend with whom I argue a lot. No, that seems as if I am the one who does the arguing all the time. Half the time it is he who says something ridiculous, and then we start arguing! There is one topic that we keep coming back to argue upon. I have stayed in one city all my life — in Delhi, the capital of India. He from childhood has lived in many places — cities as well as small towns across India....

Holi is For Children

Holi is For Children

Kamla Mathur was born and brought up in Etah, a small town in Uttar Pradesh. Now, at 65, she lives in Delhi and reminisces fondly of the Holi she and her siblings celebrated at ‘home’, in the area called Brajbhoomi, the land where the Braj dialect of Hindi is spoken. Brajbhoomi refers to the places connected to the legends of the birth and childhood of Krishna and his dalliance with Radha. As Holi continues to be a significant festival for the Brajvasis, many of the old ways of celebration survive....

Excerpts from 'The Crystal Cave'

“Yuk!” exclaimed Thenyak. “It tastes awful!” Changun said nothing. But her screwed up features told all! “Don’t like it, do you?” said Grandma Kamlong with a toothless grin. “But watch now.” Using the ladle, she scooped up a little salt from a wooden bowl and put it into the broth. She sang a Nocte ballad as she stirred, smiling mysteriously all the while. This was what made Grandma Kamlong such great fun! She could put life and mystery into the most trivial chore!...

Smart Ones and Fools

Smart Ones and Fools

This morning we got a call in our office from a friend who gave us us the news that the Taj Mahal had collapsed in an earthquake in the wee hours of dawn. As soon as we let out shocked gasps we realised that we had all been made fools. For it is April 1 or Fool’s Day today! Last year, one of India’s most well known TV networks put out a news report that left the viewers speechless....

The Flower Girls of the Mountains

The Flower Girls of the Mountains

I was back in my village after a long time. Tall pines and Deodars greeted me as I walked uphill, on the twisty ‘kuccha-pukka’ road. It is a small village, tucked away in the lower ranges of the Garhwal Himalayas, in northern Indian state of Uttaranchal. As my house came into view, my thrill knew no bounds. I was glad to be back. It was a week-long family ‘puja’ that had brought the whole family together at the village....

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