Happy Diwali everyone ! Have a safe Diwali ! 🙂
India is in the mode of celebrating its biggest festival of the year, Diwali.. This year it will be celebrated on the 11th of November.. It’s the Festival of Lights and wherever you go you will see everything is lit up around here.. It’s amazing ! The market street near my house is already lit beautifully and so is my house.. We put lights on our windows.. I have always liked celebrating Diwali.. I don’t burst crackers but just the whole idea of wearing traditional clothes and getting dressed up is what I enjoy.. On 11th we will have a small puja at home.. We even light small diyas (oil lamps made of clay) for atleast 5 days during this festival.. Starting from two days before the main Diwali till two days after Diwali. We keep these oil lamps outside our house too, right at the entrance.. It is considered as auspicious..
I will be sharing a picture of the entire market that’s lit near my house.. People from all parts of the city come here only to see these lights.
The entire market street lit for Diwali
Happy Diwali in advance !
India is currently celebrating Navaratri, which is a festival dedicated to the Hindu deity, Durga. The word Navaratri means nine nights, in Sanskrit, nava means nine and ratri means nights. The tenth day is commonly referred to as dussehra. Diwali, the Festival of Lights is celebrated twenty days after dussehra.
The significance being, the beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are considered to be important junctions of climatic and solar influences. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother Durga.
Navaratri represents a celebration of the Goddess Amba, (the Power).
In the state of Gujarat and Maharashtra, people perform the dance of garba.. They dress up in traditional and colourful Gujarati clothes and go for the dance.
In north India, there the Navaratri is celebrated in form of Ramlila, which is a dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Rama, ending up in ten-day battle between Rama and Ravana, as described in the Hindu religious epic, the Ramayana.
On the tenth day dussehra is commemorated in the form of victory of Rama over demon king Ravana, when the actors are taken out in a procession through the city, leading up to a mela ground or town square, where the enactment of the final battle takes place, before giant effigies of Ravana.
Just a picture of Mataji in one of the temple I visited.
This entire week has been crazy.. My niece and her parents (my brother and his wife) have moved to their own house 2 days back and so has Ganeshji. Yes, since most of us know we here in Mumbai are celebrating the most loved festival, Ganesh Chathurthi that started from September 17 and it’s still going on. It is a festival celebrated in the honour of elephant God, Ganesha. During this time, we bring idols of Ganesha at home and worship Him. My family has been celebrating this festival for around 15 years now, and this year was way too special to us due to Shaira. At my place we bring Him for 5 days, and then on the 5th day immerse Him in the sea. The festival goes on for 11 days. All over Mumbai people have Him for different days, some might keep for 1 and a half day or 3 days or 5 days or 7days and finally for 11days. This time we had more guests than the previous year, which was amazing.. They all came to seek His blessings.
Lord Ganesha is considered as the God of power and wisdom. There are various stories associated that show how cleverly and coolly he used to deal with complicated matters.
We brought Him home on the 16th night, and on 21st was the immersion. These 5 days were filled with awesome food, lots of guests, fun, laughter, sweets and not to forget feeling blessed.
Since couple of years in Mumbai, we have now started having these artificial ponds, which are eco friendly and do not harm any marine life. Such ponds are ideal for idols that are brought at home because these idols are small, maybe not more than 3-4 feet. Our idol was 2.5 feet this year. The big idols, like 10 feet have to immerse them in the sea. But still these ponds have been a blessing, we have been going there since 3 years now, it’s hassle free, best part is that we know we aren’t hearing the marine life. I remember one year when we used to go to the beach to immerse the idol, there were way too many idols that were on the shore of the sea, and in a devastated state. Some didnt have hands, or head or a leg. It was really sad to see them in this state. We worship Him for so many days and in the end to see them like this was way too upsetting. So now we prefer the artificial ponds.
This year our idol was of red in colour and lots of diamond, pearl and coloured stones work. We offer Him food, fruits and sweets. Even the guests coming to seek His blessing offer either fruits or sweets or money. I would get fresh flower garland everyday. I am just sharing few pictures of Ganesha.
These pictures were clicked on my phone, hope it’s clear enough. Thank you all!
So finally the Diwali is almost to an end. Can’t believe even Diwali is over. There’s a big market lane at about 2 minutes walking distance from my place and every year all the shop owners chip in money and one week before Diwali the entire market is lit with lights. It’s amazing to see and walk through the market, it feels as if all the stars are falling on you.
I clicked a picture yesterday and thought of sharing with you all along with a picture of me dressed up in Indian clothes during Diwali. I was wearing a pure silk saree which was bought from Kerala.
Hope you all had a wonderful Diwali !! 🙂
Vacations are the best days, aren’t they? It’s all about getting away from the everyday life and make new memories, that’s exactly what I did too. I haven’t written for a long time reason being I was on a vacation for 8 days, creating some amazing memories along with some amazing people. I visited Dubai again, last year in November I visited with my family and this time I went with some amazing people whom I know for a very long time, I am too close to them and I love them a lot.
It was a trip which helped me to get away from a city where my heart was broken once again and it was a trip to move on with my life.
We reached Dubai on the 14th of October and visited many places, even though there wasnt any place which I didn’t see the last time, leaving the Atlantis The Palm Hotel. I felt I was making some new memories because this time I went with different people. We visited the Dubai Mall, the Aquarium in the Dubai Mall, the Bhurj Khalifa, Mall of Emirates, took the Dhow Cruise and last but not the least the amazing Atlantis the Palm Hotel. In the entire 8 days tour we must have walked and walked so much that we never did in our entire life. This time I was able to see almost the entire of Dubai Mall and Mall of Emirates because we visited these two malls at least 3 times during this trip.
Dubai Mall is huge, when I say huge means really huge, no one can see the entire mall in one day. It is spread over a total retail floor of 5,02,000 square meters and includes over 1200 shops. Wow, right! It has an aquarium inside and the mall is located near the Bhurj Khalifa which is a great tourist attraction. Every evening they have the Fountain show outside the mall and right in front of the Bhurj Khalifa, which marks another tourist attraction.
Apart from that, galavanting on the streets of Meena Bazaar was on our everyday to do list for the first 6 days because our hotel called The Royal Ascot Apartment was located near by before we moved to the Atlantis Hotel for the last 2 days. We had the suite apartment and room was big and comfortable.
The weather was unkind to us when we were there. It was hot, not humid but horribly hot, the heat has left me tanned and sun burnt. The sun there hits you like crazy, I tried avoiding getting out in the day especially during the noon time, but I guess once you are on a vacation hiding in your hotel rooms doesnt help especially if you are the explorer one.
On 20th October we moved in for our 2 nights stay in the Atlantis the Palm Hotel, and I was awed by the size of the hotel. This was something which I didn’t do on my last trip to Dubai. It is located on the apex of the Palm Jumeirah and is themed on the myth of Atlantis including distant Arabian elements. There are over 1500 rooms and the hotel is divided into two wings, the East Wing and the West Wing. The view from my room was mesmerizing, all I could see was the vast sea till wherever my eyes could take me. The best view was the sunset, and I managed to capture an amazing picture.
The hotel also includes Aquaventure Water Park along with a man-made beach. The resort has a stretch of beach facing the Dubai skyline. The beach has over 700 sun beds.
Across the Aquaventure water park is the Dolphin Bay, a 4.5 ha (11 acres) dolphinarium. A place where after booking a slot you can be with the dolphins in the water, touch them, dance with them, hug them and play with them. It’s amazing how well they have been taken care by the experts over there. Well, the charges for per person is little bit on a higher side, but I think the experience of being with them is worth it. I loved it. Here you have the opportunity to swim with dolphins, choose from a range of dolphin experiences suitable for all ages and swimming abilities. We had to go in for an orientation in the start where we were given bit of knowledge about the dolphins, their behavior and how we are suppose to stand when in water with them. Dolphin Bay house the bottle nose dolphins, and they are so cute.
Our trip came to an end on the 22nd and I reached back home just in time to celebrate the Festive of Diwali which goes on for 5 days, the main day of Diwali where we have a pooja at home and pray to Goddess Laxmi Maa was yesterday. I don’t burst crackers but love lightening the diyas (small clay lamps) because Diwali is the festival of lights. It spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. This is one festive where I love to dress up in Indian clothes and this time I decided to wear a saree.
Well, I am posting few pictures from my Dubai trip which I clicked from my iPhone. I hope you all enjoy seeing them. 🙂
The amazing Aquarium in Dubai Mall
The Bhurj Khalifa
The Fountain Show
The Atlantis, Palm Hotel at night time
The view from the beach at the Atlantis Hotel
The amazing morning and evening view from my room at the Atlantis Hotel
A kiss from the dolphin to me at the Dolphin Bay in Atlantis Hotel
A good bye picture
Wishing everyone a Very Happy Diwali and an amazing Weekend! 🙂
Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrated in honour of the God Ganesha, the elephant headed God. He is the God of removing obstacles and the God of new beginnings and wisdom. I had even written a post about this festival last year since we celebrate this festival every year by brining Ganesha idol at home.
During this festival, people bring home Ganesha idols either for 1 and a half day or 3 days or 5 days or for 10 days. At my place we bring Him home for 5 days and invited all our friends and families to seek his blessing. I find this festival full of fun and happiness. Today is the 2 nd day of the festival and on the fifth day we will immerse the idol in water.
During the five days, we perform rituals and have pujas (singing in the praise of The Lord). I always feel every year on the last day, because He becomes a part of our family.
I just wanted to share few pictures of the Ganpati idol at my place.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi everyone !!
Ganpati Bappa Morya !!
Yesterday, 17th March we celebrated the festival of colors and love called Holi. The celebrations starts with a Holika Bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colors, where everyone plays, chases and colors each other with dry powder and colored water, with some carrying water guns and colored water-filled balloons for their water fight. The frolic and fight with colors occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People move and visit family, friends and foes, first play with colors on each other, laugh and chit-chat, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. In the evening, after sobering up, people dress up, visit friends and family.
It’s a fun festival and I was more excited because was playing after 4-5 years.And this is how I looked by the end of it. I really had an awesome time after a long time. Woke up early and was out to play with friends. By the time I reached home it was late afternoon and was so tired.
Wishing everyone Happy Holi! 🙂
Today I am sharing another festival that has begun in India.
Navratri – The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. This festival is dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Maa Durga. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The tenth day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or “Dussehra” and it is one of the most important Hindu festivals. Today is the 3rd day of this beautiful festival. Here in India, evenings give rise to the religious dances that are widely performed to worship Goddess Durga Maa. This festival is celebrated in almost all the parts of India differently.
Happy Navratri to All !