Monday, 20 October, 2008

What do you do when you have no money???

While growing up I dreamt of becoming a being of my own, a woman with an identity. I always assumed that whatever job/work I would do would get me money. I mean it never even registered in my muddled brain that I could become a modern working woman yet have no money in life. Women who have no money are the ones who are dependent on their fathers/brothers/spouses and cannot break through shackles however much they face discrimination. Since I had no interest in becoming such a person, money I assumed would flow naturally.

Problems cropped up when I decided to get into development field. In development field you get a lot of things like hands on experience, excitement, over work, interesting no highly interesting collegues, genuine warmth of people for whom you are working, sophistication of superior beings who work in UN and other such superior organizations but money. No ladies and gentlemen, you do not get any money. You go to work for a NGO they would welcome you, burry you under work but money, that is not a polite thing to ask for. What money? NGOs are hardly paying organizations, we can pay you enough to surivive a month in Delhi, well barely, rest please depend on others. So whom do you depend on? For me I went back to depending on my father.

Depending on father/brother/boy friend...does that make me a modern working woman? I mean not having enough money does that qualify me for the rest of the tag?

My colleagues and me, we keep cribbing about this lack of money in life. But lately this lack of money has been stressing me out with more frequency than what is good for my cholestrol level.

Time to look for some money making schemes.

  • Ok, I could play lottery: Have any one of you won a lottery ever? I could play Lotto but going by my luck dont expect to win. I have never ever won any kind of lucky draw, let alone a lottery of millions. Worth a shot at least...
  • Indulging in Criminal Activites: This could be a sure shot way to easy money making but since I am one of those hyper tensed people I do not think I would ever be able to enjoy the money acquired through this. Scrap...
  • Business venture: Mmmmm...worth exploring....

Ok cant think of any more ideas...

Friday, 17 October, 2008


Met this boy when I went to click photos of Ravan. He seemed very interested to see what I was clicking. So when I asked him to pose he readily agreed.

Name : Ratan

Age: 14

Occupation: Works in a dhaba (local food joint)

Lives in: Sarai Kalekha, New Delhi

Ram Lila 2008

Burning of Ravana and company which singnifies according to Ramayana demolition of the evil.

Last man standing-- Kumbhakaran and Indrajeet already torched and burnt down.

All three in a row...

The old man who created these idols and a gaggle of kids who were more nuisance than help I am sure.

Bodyless. This reminds me of an incident in school years ago. In class ix or x in our history book there used to be a photograph of Kanishka where only his face like this was shown. During one history exam one brilliant fellow wrote "though bodyless Kanishka was a great king"... I remember our history teacher fuming and the whole class erupting into load laughter when she told us this.

Thursday, 9 October, 2008

Jayshree's new love

We were walking through Lajpatnagar market yesterday when we came across this maniqueen. Jayshree promptly fell in love with this dress. The fall of this dress is really nice. But the material is not really good.

Durga Pujo in New Delhi 2008

Durga Pujo 2008, New Delhi. Durga pujo is the most important celebration of the bengalis. Most important is the point to be noted since we have a festival or two every month. There is a saying in bengali "baro maash ee tero parbon" (thirteen festivals in twelve months) and out of all these festivals durga pujo is the most grandest. We believe that ma durga is coming to visit her parents. She comes on sasthi or the sixth day and brings along her four children. On the tenth day she goes home with her children. We dunk those beautiful idols which are made over a period of six months in the tributary and feel sad and forlon till the next year when ma comes to visit us again.
Preparation of the festival begins just as soon as the current one ends. On rakhi purnima potters go to pick up clay from Hoogly's bank which is what Ganga is called in Bengal and start the work of creating these idols.
Bengalis give gifts (read new clothes) to families and friends before the pujo. The norm is that during the pujo days from sasti to dashomi everyone wears new clothes, a fresh change for each part of the day and also new shoes. So a very common sight in Kolkata during these days are people wearing new clothes and limping badly :)

Saptami or the seventh day of the nine auspicious days...second day of Bengali durga pujo. This photograph is taken in Kashmiri Gate pujo which is in old Delhi. This year the pujo celebrated 99th year and is gearing up for its 100th year celebration next year. This pujo is held in the compound of a school building. They distribute khichuri and payash in the afternoon as bhog which is very delicious. Also you get Kolkata style (read Bijali Grill) type biriyani and chap in the eating stalls which is just awesome.

C.R. Park B Block pujo on ashtami or eighth day morning when anjali is going on. The crowd gather are giving anjali. Bengalis fast in the morning, wear new clothes and come and offer group prayer to ma durga with flowers. The prayer is done three times with flowers accompanied by mantra and the last time just the mantra. Then they eat prasad and break their fast. Anjalis start from 9/9.30 in the morning and go on till mid morning. Anjalis happen from sasthi till dashami or the tenth day morning.
Magic show going on in B block pujo. In Delhi cultural functions are held. The cultural functions used to start from panchami or the fifth day and almost everyone get chance. So the on the fifth day kids would perform, antaksharis would be held etc. Then with the beginning of serious celebrations artists from all over the country espcially Kolkata and sometimes even Bangladesh would be invited. Early slots were not so famous ones but as nights progressed famous artisits statrted performing. I remember one pujo maybe 2002 or 2003, my cousins and me, we chased Usha Uttuph all over pandals in Delhi. I have heard bands like Indian ocean and Euphoria in pujo pandals. But over the years due to security reasons organizers are being forced to cut down on these and not bring in high profile artisits to performance.

Announcement of some of the fun things happening during pujo days in B block.

Greater Khailash 2 durga pujo during asthami/eighth day evening aarati.

Chandelier in the GK 2 pujo pandal.

C R Park B block again. Ma durga with her two children Lakshmi-- the goddess of wealth and Kartik-- the god of good looks. Lakshmi is accompanied by her special pet owl and kartik with peacock.

Ma with other two children Saraswati-- the goddess of knowledge and Ganesh-- the god of wisdome. Saraswati is accompanied by her special pet swan while ganesh has his mouse.

Preparation of Sandhipujo. This is the time when we believe that Ma had killed ashur or demon and triumphed over evil. Ma has ten hands and each hand holds a special weapon and she is helped in her fight by her special pet the lion.

Mounted police on asthami night to control crown. But this year because the pujo dates fell on weekdays and also due to bomb scare the crowd was not that thick.

Inside of the B block pujo tent.

Monday, 6 October, 2008

Pear's Lil Bro...

I do not know what this fruit is called, Anubha says it is called nag for some strange reason. But I am in love with this fruit. It is like younger brother of pear. I have never had it or even seen it while growing up. Few days back when we embarked on the infamous gm diet (which was highly unsuccessful, I have a sneaky feeling that we are the only ones in the history

who gained more weight than loosing it) we went fruit shopping. It was then that I discovered this fruit. If you guys have not tried it, please do.

Sunday, 5 October, 2008

This and that...

Ok, after a long time I am in blog writing mood. Now that I am in blogging mood, I cant seem to stop.

Durga Pujo 08 started today. Sasti or the sixth day when the grand aarati in the evening flags off the pujo officially. Today is the beginning of the Bengali Durga Pujo which though follows the navratra calender is different in lots of nice ways. For starters Bongs do not go on rigorous fast. This is the national Bong celebration time, we eat plenty, wear new clothes (two sets a day so a minimum of eight new clothes), new shoes (you can understand whether a person is wearing a new pair of shoes or not by watching the way he/she is walking, if the person walks normally not a chance but if he or she is limping, bingo) pandal hopping, hanging out in old favourite haunts, meeting with long forgotten friends etc.

I am in office on Sunday/ Sasti evening doing no good in particular or for that matter nothing harmful either (lets ignore those deep friend momos I gulped down half an hour ago dear friends) so thought I will catch with you guys. Yesterday Anant was saying that I have not written anything for a really long time, that I make do with photographs now a days. Now that I come to think about it, yes it is true, I do use photographs a lot. Also I have been distracted a lot lately. But blogging I shall continue, maybe some months the number of posting would go down but I would be here posting nonetheless. One piece of good news-- over the last few months I have come to realise that there getting bored is not a good option always.

Found this photograph during one of my google image hunts. Image googling is actually like a treasure hunt, you never know what gem you are going to stumble across.
Maple leaf or chinar ka patta as the Kashmiris call it is one popular leaf. Prior to my Canadian expereince, I had heard Kashmiris talking about chinar ka patta. I once had a Kashmiri friend who could go on and on about how the chinnar ka patta floats down from the tree and how it looks carelessly fallen on the ground. Likewise in my once upon a time Kashmiri boss's house virtually every art object was designed on the maple leaf. Then I read the book called The Tiger Ladies: A Memoir of Kashmir by Sudha Koul. Again the book had chinnar patta strewn all over it.
This particular photograph of maple leaf brings Kashmir to my mind very strongly-- the red signifying bleeding heart and body to my over imaginative mind.
When I lived in Canada I was pleasantly surprised to how a whole nation can be crazy about a leaf. Maple leaf is the national symbol of Canada and you see maple leaf in everything be candles, candies, car freshner, sweater motifs, art objects, photographs, tee shirts, caps, bags and all other imaginable commodities. Maple syrup is another popular thing there-- it is poured over crepes or pancakes for breakfast (yummy, highly recommended), maple flavoured yogurt which strongly resembles misti doi of the Bongs, (so whenever I was misti doi craving I used to make do with maple flavoured yogurt), maple flavoured chocolates etc etc and some more etc.
May the chinnar trees continue to grow and yield beautiful leaves which feed the imagination of the people the world over.

New bag...

Ok let me make this my accessory posting day. Now for my new bag. I gave this to myself on my birthday. I have been eyeing this bag forever. When I initially saw this bag it was in black, but the last one was already being paid for by someone. with heavy heart I saw the bag being given to someone else over the cash counter. Even since I have been to the shops numerous time, left my phone number with the sales boys there, to no avail. I have seen this in dark brown, beige, red and white but none stuck my fancy like the black one. Then finally saw this cherry colour and since the sales boys had no idea if black bags would come anytime in future bought this one. The cherry one is also nice and I have never carried anything in this colour. The colour is rich and deep, yet it goes with everything.
The little hanging bird is Aparna's gift to me from Varanasi. It is a cute little wooden bird with bells which tinkle when I walk.

Some of my ear rings....

Satutory Warning: If you do not drool over ear rings and think they are women's best friends then please do not read this posting, you are sure to get bored.
This Saturday, Anubha and me did some spring cleaning of my ear rings. I have been facinated with ear rings since school. Though facinated I was, I never got into gold. I find gold very boring and also wearing gold is so much responsibility like be careful, dont loose it types that I am much better off without gold in my life. My mother is not the sort who likes silver and other junk jwellery, she is a regular gold wearer. So she was not much help in this regard. During my teens I used to collect whatever was in fashion like plastic ear rings courtesy Madhuri Dixit in some movie like Sajan or Dil. Thankfully I soon developed some good sense and left behind plastic and other such tacky stuff. Now I concerntrate mostly on silver, copper, beads and other interesting stuff like tribal jwellry like there is a special tribal jwellery from Orissa called Dokra. The metal looks like gold but is not so. You can see one ear ring in the picture above. Like all good things in my life even this was encouraged by my dad. In fact my first pair of nice dangling silver ear rings were gifted by my dad. I still remember those shopping expidetions when dad and me, we would pour over ear rings and my mother throughly bored would be hurrying us up and be really impatient.
When I was in class x my cousin sister got married and left me her booty of some great silver jwellery. Her stuff was all acquired with great care over the years from Jaipur. I was estatic when she gave me all of that. I still have those preserved. I started collecting silver ear rings since college but in the past one year have gone way beyond and collected silver ear rings like mad. I spend most of my salary on these ear rings. Some of my ear rings on display here. Uff I am so proud of them, they make me complete.
If you are interested in silver jwellery Johri Bazar of Jaipur is the best place to go. They have some amazing stuff and price wise much cheaper than Delhi, while the range is greater. There are some two hundred or more silver shops in that bazar, I can very easily spend days there.
Next is Delhi-- Dilli Haat, Chadni Chowk, Silver Line in Khan Market and one shop in Janpat and other shops strewn all over the city.
Jaipur and Delhi are the best two places to go silver shopping. Other cities I find too expensive. Tibetans also have amazing silver collections like in Goa, Delhi, Dharmashala and other hill stations. But I find them too exorbitant.
Silver should never be bought abroad. One ear ring which would cost Rs250 in India easily costs $25 dollars. In that money five more ear rings would come.

In case you ever need any help silver shopping you can always count on me. I charge only one ear ring for an entire shopping expidition. Now ain't it cheap???

Saturday, 4 October, 2008

Dumb Boys Series 5...

Dumb Boys Series 4...

Boys are sooo blahhh....

Dumb Boys Series 3...

Extra sharp ones with lethal edges....

Dumb Boys Series 2...

Boys can pollute Jupiter now...

Dumb Boys Series 1

Ah ha uuuuu huuuuuuu.....

Friday, 3 October, 2008

Mighty Celebrations....

Flower power: This bunch of flowers from Sapphire impressed a whole cross section of women- me, my mother, my roomies Anubha and Jayshree, office friends Aparna and Rekha, one of my best friends Angira and my cousin sisters. Dont think left anyone else out of the list. We women are so silly.

This cake came for my cousin sister, my bro-in-law and me, a week ago from my aunt and uncle. It was a group birthday celebration at Delhi Gymkhana Club with loads of food. The cake was yummy. The little chipped portion is courtesy Shubham, who did it all too swiftly before his parents could react. Tinku is the me in the cake.

My niece Amrita and nephew Subham more excited with the cake! than the birthday celebrating adults. Amrita valiantly trying to stave off Shubham from wrecking further damage to the cake.

29th September midnight. Our terrace...Anubha and Jayshree and this gooey cake. In case you are wondering gentle is my nickname for my gentle and ladylike nature.

Aparna, Rekha and me attacking this ice cream on my birthday afternoon.

The orange bunch was given by Rekha.
There were two more cakes, one got in office by Rekha and Aparna and the other in the evening in my cousin's house in C.R. Park, in the excitement of the birthday celebration we forgot to click photos.

Thursday, 2 October, 2008

Durga Pujo is here...well almost...

Durga Pujo starts this Monday and folks back home are getting frenzied. My parents have asked me a couple of hundred times whether I have got new clothes, if I am going to take leave and visit pujo pandals in C R Park (bongo heartland of Delhi). I assure them that I am ready for pujo. But truth be told this year I have had not done any preparations. Dont know why, it is not that I am very busy this year. That was last year's story. Just before pujo I was so busy that I was working almost 20 hours a day for a month, but even then I managed to get some new clothes and by the time pujo came I shifted to my cousin's house in C R Park with all my new fineries and had a great pujo.

But this year I am just not in the mood. Imagine pujo is here and I am not in the mood!
I am throughly scandalised at my own lack of interest.