Kumbh Mela

April 15, 2010

I found this interesting piece of trivia regarding Kumbh Mela. Sharing it…

The Kumbh Mela derives from Hindu mythology, which holds that gods and demons struggled over a pitcher, or kumbh, containing the drink of immortality. As the gods raced toward heaven, drops of the sacred nectar spilled out onto four locations on the river: Allahabad, Ujjaink, Nashik and Haridwar. Today, the Kumbh Mela is held every three years, rotating among the four cities, meaning that each hosts every 12 years.
Image Via Getty Images Image Via Getty Images

Tucked in the foothills of the Himalayas, Haridwar is a challenging place to host tens of millions of people. The Kumbh Mela is conducted in the middle of the city, and many pilgrims insist on taking their dip in the holiest spot, known as Har Ki Pauri, which is roughly the size of three Olympic swimming pools.

Taking a Sacred Plunge, One Wave of Humanity at a Time


Amazing Pyramids

September 26, 2009

Pyramids have always amazed me. Pyramids are built by different civilization Egyptians, Incas and Mayans.

I can possibly do some reading on pyramids and probably some day I’ll be able to visit each of them.

A Thousand Splendid Suns : Review

September 22, 2009

A Thousand Splendid Suns is Khaled Hosseini’s second book.  His first book Kite Runner is a classic. I regard him to be one of the best storytellers I’ve read. Kite Runner is a must read, for any book lover.

I do not regard A Thousand Splendid Suns to be as good as Kite Runner, but it certainly does not disappoint. Like Kite Runner the story is set in Afghanistan, the story has similar shades of betrayal, suffering and vindication. Here Khaled Hosseini tries to explain the plight of Afghan women, their relationships, the stress they have to go through.


The story is about Mariam, a illicit daughter of a wealthy business man Jalil Khan in Herat. Mariam’s life goes upside down when on her 15th birthday she plans to visit her father. She faces betrayal from her father, her mother commits suicide. At a very young age she is forced to marry an old man Rasheed. Rasheed is already married thrice. Mariam moves to Kabul with Rasheed, slowly her life turns into a living hell.

In the second part a young, lively, pretty girl from Kabul Laila is introduced. She is deeply in love with her childhood sweetheart Tariq. Laila’s life falls apart when her house gets bombarded and she looses her mother and father. She has already lost her brothers in the fight against Russians. Tariq and his family moves to Pakistan, Laila is left alone.

The story of two ladies converges when Rasheed marries Laila. Then the story progresses in an interesting direction.

Khaled Hosseini’s narration is really extra-ordinary. You really feel as if its happening in-front of you. You to sympathize with the fates of the two ladies and numerous Afghanis who have seen their country battered incessantly by Russians, the local war lords, the Taliban and then the US. The Trauma Afghanis have gone through, loosing their kith and kin, their wealth, property and culture to war mongers hungry for power. You really feel thankful to be far away from such insanity.

I certainly would recommend this book, its a great read. It gives one a vivid idea how Afghanistan has transformed from being a peace loving country in early 1980s to an insane state of terror post 2000.

The God Delusion

April 25, 2008

God delusionI stumbled upon this very very interesting topic in Wikipedia The God Delusion. I now am really dying to read this entire article and the book obviously, will read it sometime when I’m free.

The concept is kind of true. Anything that is abstruse for humans to understand, something that defies the known or understood logic is generally attributed to some super-natural force called God. Events that have no scientific explanation is assumed to be due to God’s grace or assumed to be the affects his wrath.

What will happen the day we are able to explain everything with logic on the basis of science. Will such day really come ? if It does, Will the faith in go still remain ?

I personally think faith in god will still persist. We need a faith in some power, so that rationality prevails in the society. If the faith in God seizes, it would be hard to define what is good and bad. The faith in god is one of the very few things that can unite masses together, for a good cause or a bad one is a different issue.

Doesn’t matter if god really exists or not, the faith should remain.

Unveiling the veiled

February 1, 2007

This is an amazing picture, it tells a story. A Google Reader feed pointed me to this article by G Willow Wilson. Let me pull out couple of the excerpts from article, before going ahead.

Excerpt – 1

When non-Muslims look at this picture and cry “Contradiction! See, she’s only pretending to be pious” I look and them and see a worldview irretrievably tangled in the idea that religion and sexuality are incompatible. They simply don’t have the tools to understand that the hijab is, for Muslim women, a symbol that separates public and private life; that at home a veiled woman takes her headscarf off, and has no qualms donning a little lingerie with her husband. Hijab is not a rejection of sexuality.

Eteraz.org ||

Excerpt – 2

If you are a man and you see a woman in a headscarf, it doesn’t mean that she rejects sex. It means she rejects sex with you.

Eteraz.org ||

I respect Islam and all that it preaches. But I’ve always felt that muslim women are subjugated with some of the Islamic practices, especially the dress code.

In my view is muslim women or for that any person is a individual first then he/she becomes a social animal following Islam, Hinduism, Christianity or anything. By individual what I mean is they will have different likes and dislikes and might follow different philosophies. If a person follows a religion, it doesn’t mean he/she has to follow everything it preaches. This individuality factor might make someone not like something that is widely accepted and followed. None of the religions (that I know of) forces anyone to do something that the person dislikes or doesn’t agree upon.

Muslims willing to follow hijab should follow, no one should be made to follow it by force. I believe the latter is more prevalent than the former. India is home to a huge muslim population, most of the muslim women here too wear veils. But given a choice most of them would want to take it off and be free of all the dress code.

Yeah, I agree with G Willow Wilson that the West most of the times sees Islam in a twisted way, thats because they are a more open society they don’t understand a lot of things. But whats wrong in being more open and liberal thinking ? does it in any way reduce your faith in Islam ?

Workshop on Buddhism with Dalai Lama

January 22, 2007

Last week the Dalai Lama said, “I knew a Tibetan monk for a long time. He was taken away to a Chinese gulag and kept there for 18 years. When he was released he fled to India, along with other Tibetans, for refuge”.He continued calmly, “I met him and asked him about his experiences in prison”. The monk replied, “At times I was in great danger”.”What kind of danger?” asked the Dalai Lama. “I was in danger of losing my compassion towards my Chinese captors”, he replied. “Now, that”, spoke the Dalai Lama, “is Buddhism”.

Peace be upon us-Editorial-OPINION-The Times of India

I cannot believe that people of such stature still exist. After reading this article my reverence for Buddhism and Dalai Lama has soared. We need thousands of Dalai Lamas to get this world on to the path of peace.

If only the Hitlers, the Bushs and the Saddams of the world were Buddhists or at least they followed these principles.

“Your enemy”, replied the Dalai Lama to all listening, “becomes an object for you to practise compassion. It is easy to
practise compassion on those you love, but the enemy becomes an object for you to further your practice”.

Peace be upon us-Editorial-OPINION-The Times of India

This is a amazing article, do read it “Peace up on us“.