In North India particularly Punjab and Rajasthan, traditionally folk singers belonged to mostly Muslim communities. Foremost example is that of Mardana, the disciple of Guru Nanak, who played the Rabab when Guru sang the hymns of the God. He along with Bala were constant companions of the Guru and accompanied him on his sojourns far and wide. The tradition continued and many of the famous singers in Punjab claim to be the descendants of Mardana thorugh many generations. Also they have become so attached to Sikhism that from their outlook supporting the turban and beard, no one distinguishes them from… Read More »Songs of Kuldeep Manak: Fragrance of Punjabi Soil
Sasural Genda Phool is a very popular song from the movie Delhi-6. Actually the song is adapted on the Dadaria folk of Chhatisgarh state of India. While rest of the songs of the film has been written by Prasoon Joshi, Rehman and actor Raghuvir Yadav searched for the folk song for the movie in addition to the other songs. Rajat Dholakia is credited along with A.R. Rehman for introducing the song in Hindi movie. Raghuvir Yadav belongs to that area and must have been familiar with the folk songs of the area. The origin of the song has been traced… Read More »Sasural Genda Phool
There are many references to “Jand” tree in Punjabi literature. Foremost it is connected to a place called Danabad the village of Mirza in the legend of “Mirza-Sahiban”. After getting Sahiba from her home on the day of her marriage to someone else, and sneaking on his mare-called Bakki in local language, he decides to take rest under the cool shade of Jand tree. He was overconfident that even after taking rest for the summer noon, he will make it easily to his native place before the end of the day. Rest is well known. He was killed by Sahiban’s… Read More »Fabled Jand Tree
Among the 1001 stories Scheherazade tells her husband the king Shahryar and her younger sister Duniyazad is the story of Ass and Bull. Why 1001 stories? King because of the unfaithfulness of his previous wife, thinks that every woman is faithless. He marries a different girl each day and after first night kills her. This way the kingdom is short of girls. Scheherazade is the daughter of his vizier who swears to broke this mindset of the king. So she marries him. Purpose is to tell a different story every night but in a such a way that when the… Read More »Ass and Bull : Arabian Nights
Although it is often contested that the fable is attributed to Aesop. Whatever may be real source, the story is about a frog and scorpion. The lesson it tries to convey is that basic nature of a person remains unaltered however one expects to the contrary. The scorpion needs to cross the river to go to other side but we know it does not know how to swim and is in great problem and looking for help. He chances upon a frog and begs him to give him the lift on its back and swim across the river. Surely, the… Read More »Frog & Scorpion Retold
Since the dawn of civilisations, man has relied on good luck in good measure. When the things don’t go his way despite all the efforts he takes the refuge in the things and omens which has the powers to turn the tide in his favour. Sometimes these things defy common logic. Different civilisations have different symbols of good luck. For example, whenever a Hindu household starts a new venture , Lord Ganesh is worshipped. Three legged toads are a symbol of good luck in Chinese civilisation. Similarly in Christianity Four Leaf Clover is one of the good luck symbols. Clover… Read More »Four Leaf Clover: Good Luck Symbols!!!
A Nightmare is the terrible dream like inability to run from a dangerous situation, losing your or gadgets or a bad time in a person’s life. But it has nothing to do with Mare. Although Sigmund Freud considered as the father of modern psychology described the dreams as the awakening of the subconscious mind and fulfillment of the unfulfilled desires. Coming to the origin of the word, it consists of two words fused together. Night and Mare. Mare is derived from middle English word Mare which meant a “female evil spirit thought to lie upon and suffocate sleepers’. This had… Read More »Nightmares !!
There is a Narcissus in All of Us: More or Less Narcissus or Narkissos was a youth of exceptional beauty and due to vanity became exceptionally proud and disdained others. When Goddess Nemesis saw this, she attracted the Narcissus to a pool of clear water. He saw his reflection in the water and fell in love with his own image. He did not left the pool and died. The word narcissism is derived from him and means excessive self love. There is less or more narcissus in all of us. To a degree it is essential for self keep up.… Read More »Narcissus in Us
Rudraksha tree and its seed are held in great esteem for religious purposes. The nuts are very strong and has faces (mukhas) formed by engraved lines from its head to the bottom across the outer surface. Most common nuts have 5 faces and are called “Panchmukhi” meaning with five faces. Most precious is the one with 21 faces and only two go them are said to exist. There price may range anything between 10 to 15 lakhs INR. The nuts have the potential of medicinal values. Most of the members of the family Elaeocarpaceae have indolizidine alkaloid compounds, which have… Read More »Rudrakash Elaeocarpus blascoi: Last Tear of Siva???
Temple of Jayanti Devi is situated on a hillock at the village Jainti Majri about 8 kilometers from PGI Chandigarh. It is nestled between the Shiwalik hills. As you travel to temple from Chandigarh, the verdant plains change into hills. There are cliffs all around. Although the area falls under Punjab but it is more like a village sitting at the lap of hills. The area is lush green with the fields of various crops common to Punjab. Condition of the approach road is not good although a new road has been built but in parts near the village it… Read More »Jayanti Devi Temple