Friday, February 3, 2017

The Onset of Spring in Delhi

Indian Bloggers 

February is a beautiful month to be in Delhi when winter starts retreating and the spring season is set to emerge in full splendor.  

The indications of a full bloom is everywhere - parks, gardens, busy traffic roundabouts, homes, etc..
Small bushes with budding flowers are waiting to bloom forth in full glory!

It is definitely a season to be out in the open enjoying and experiencing these new beginnings.   It is a sight to behold as the buds are impatient to gush out of their cocoon and show off their beautiful shapes, shades and colors that God has beautifully conferred upon them.

Basant Panchami which initiates the spring festive cycle was celebrated on 1st February.  It literally means fifth day of spring (Basant – spring, Panchami – fifth).   The other festival that people await very eagerly in Delhi to celebrate the spring season is Holi.  It falls right in the middle of the spring season in the first week of March (March 13 this year!) and people eagerly await this festival to play out the different colours to match the natural background.

Some worship Goddess Saraswati on this day.  In ancient Indian literature, this festival is associated with Shringara Rasam which is associated with love, beauty and attraction.   People honor Kamadeva with his wife Rati and his friend Vasant on this day in some parts of the country.

People wear yellow dresses and display or wear yellow flowers to mark this spring festival.  Yellow mustard flowers bloom across the Punjab belt of North India and is a beautiful sight.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Earth Connection

Indian Bloggers 

Man is made of dust and to dust he returns.  We, human beings are so intimately connected to everything that is about this earth, the soil and the dust but in our utopia of cleanliness and neatness, we make all efforts to keep our pretension of removing them from our life day in an day out without realizing that they are woven into our very fabric of life.  Whether it is the food we eat or the vessels in which we eat!!

Earthern vessels were a part of our daily life till some years ago.  It has taken a backseat with all the wispy, feathery plastic and glass vessels taking its place in our kitchens and the showcases.   But the taste, the aroma and the healthy aspects of earthern pot is still intact.    It is rare to see people making and selling these pots now.

It was only a couple of decades ago, we used to store water in these earthern vessels called `Ghada’ in Hindi.   In the golden days that were when people used to care about their fellow human beings,  big Ghadas filled with water used to be kept outside big buildings and roadsides for quenching the thirst of passersby and the pedestrians.   Commercialization has taken over this simple act of charity and converted this tradition to selling bottled water in its place.

There were earthern pots to suit different needs.   There were pots in which we could cook vegetables and rice.    These were used to set our curd and there was no need to hang the curd as all the water would ooze out automatically through the pores of these vessels and one could have a tasty, pure and healthy curd, thick in texture. These pots would also be used to churn out butter using wooden ladles.

Even tea was served in small glasses made from clay called “kulhad” in Hindi.   These were made compulsory in Railway Stations some years ago to reduce the usage of plastic disposable glasses.  However, it has become a rare sight.

There were other items too, like the little money pots, flower pots, clay diyas widely used around Diwali festival, craft items like elephants, idols of god and other little animals. 

The Morning Trail

It is very foggy and very cold early in the morning in Delhi these early February days.   One would like to cuddle and go back to sleep deep within the folds of the warm and cozy blanket to the mindless oblivion and dream about another surreal world far away.  But if you put aside all those temptations and step out into the dawn of a beautiful day daring the cold wind hitting your face, you can be witness to some beautiful and real sights that you might just miss otherwise apart from all the health benefits that comes along with a morning walk.

So, with this determination of watching the sunrays falling like golden beams on the earth piercing through the folds of the leaves in the trees like some burning bush, watching the birds welcome the new day with cheery chirrups and pigeons and parrots coming to feast on the grains spread by some morning walkers that I put on my warm and cozy jacket to bare the cold winter outside.

The sights are beautiful to behold and promises a great day ahead.  It also brings a sense of  hope and peace that surpasses all the knots and the tussles of the mind.  It is a wonderful way to prepare ourselves for the rest of the day, thinking and reminiscing about the wonderful way in which God created the earth and sustains it every day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The enigma called Jantar Mantar

Misra Yantra

Surrounded by huge and towering buildings, this set of architectural structures stand for some long forgotten magical spell as the name suggests!!

Jantar Mantar is the oldest of a set of  unique observatories built by Jai Singh II around 1724.  There are mantras and yantras that Jai Singh created amidst these structures that give accurate tables for study of time and space to give astronomical insights.  

The Misra Yantra is believed to be constructed by Maharaj Madho Singh designed to be accurately measuring the longitude of celestial objects like moon and can measure close to the minute of an arc.

One of the main structures is the Samrat Yantra  which is also called as 'King of Instruments' that measures solar time or local time of a place and the sun's declination.


The Jaiprakash Yantra (means Light of Jai) is named after the Maharaja Jai Singh who invented and constructed this hemispherical sundial system used both in day and night observations.  The position of the sun was indicated by the shadow of the cross wires inside this hemisphere.    

It has always been an enigma to me.  I have tried to understand the way these things work, but haven't got a clue looking at the structures though!!

A video on how the sun moves across different time spheres is given at

For other tourist attractions in Delhi, visit my blogs on Zafar Mahal,  Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb, Safdarjung's Tomb, Lodhi Gardens,  Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Lotus Temple