Saturday, November 30, 2013

Jazz Fest 2013 Kolkata

Jazz fest Kolkata, 2013

Every year Dalhousie Institute in Ballygunge, Kolkata, plays host to the much awaited Jazz fest (Congo Square Jazz Fest). It is usually a three day festival and happens around Nov-Dec.

I did manage to catch it today. I have been missing this event for the last two years. A good number of musicians from all over the world especially, USA, Germany, Mexico, Australia, and India perform in this fest. The ambiance is electric. It is essentially Jazz fusion music and I love it.

Kolkata seems to have a lot of Jazz lovers, I could barely find a place to sit...there were youngsters and elderly people and all of them were enjoying the music. The weather this time of the year is pleasant and it is a perfect time indeed to relax and enjoy Jazz.

Here's a small clipping of one of the performances, could not get a good coverage from where I was sitting:(

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Butterflies from the North East of India

Wavy Maplet butterfly

These beautiful butterflies and insects are from North-Eastern India. The pictures were taken by my cousin, Soma, in a forest by the name of Joypur which is around 50 kms South of Tinsukia in Assam.

Dark Archduke
Elbowed Pierrot-butterfly

Plant hopper
White Dragontail

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Terracotta Durga puja pandal 2013

Durga Idol
In retrospect, I am posting pictures of another Durga puja pandal from Kolkata. I will post some more pandals that were a bit different and unique this year. 

This pandal in South Kolkata was based on a terracotta temple. It looked so genuine, it was unbelievable that this so authentic looking terracotta temple complex was actually a pandal and would be there for just 5 days! The artists had taken pains to make this temple look old and authentic. And the result was beautiful! This Bengali festival certainly brings out the most creative stuff.

The pandal complex

Lateral View 
The pandal complex  with
a sculpture

Side walls of the temple
Work on the walls
of the terracotta complex

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Diwali Fireworks at Jadavpur Kolkata

Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most popular festivals in India. On this day in Bengal, Goddess Kali is worshiped.

Fireworks are an essential part of this festival and are very popular. So much so that fireworks competitions are organized in quite a few areas in Kolkata. In Jadavpur, every year, a fireworks competition is organized on Diwali. Usually, there are Fountain fireworks (Anars) on display. If any of the fireworks were to burst then the participants would get disqualified. The participants give interesting names to their fireworks. This brief clipping will give you an idea.

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Happy Diwali!

Diwali, the festival of lights is celebrated all over India. I love this time of the year because not only does the weather start getting cooler, there is positive energy everywhere. 

Interestingly, even though this festival is celebrated all over India, there is a subtle difference in how and why Diwali is celebrated in different parts of India.

In north India, it is believed that on this day, Rama's returned to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile and diyas were lit in order to welcome Rama. For Jains, diwali is a celebration in honour of Mahavira who attained nirvana on this day. On this auspicious day Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped. Since diwali marks the end of harvert season, people seek the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi for a prosperous year ahead.

In Bengal, Diwali is better known as Kali puja. Goddess Kali is worshiped on this new moon day.  In Bengal, on the day before Diwali there is a tradition of lighting up 14 candles. This is in honor of their ancestors and to dispel negative energies.

In Northern Bihar’s Mithila region, diwali is celebrated by lighting up diyas in the memory of the departed souls.

And if we move out of India towards the West, I find quite a bit of similarity between Halloween and Diwali. Not only do these two festivals get celebrated around the same time but the reason behind the events is also somewhat similar. Halloween is dedicated to remembering the departed souls, saints, believers... similarly in many parts of India, diwali signifies exactly this. 


To me, Diwali is about removing ignorance (darkness) by bringing in knowledge (light).

I wish all of you a prosperous, happy, healthy, successful, and peaceful year ahead.