Doodles

The Land From I Belong… “Johar Jharkhand”

I had been thinking for quite long time now that I should write about the land where I grew up, where I learned all the values, where I bloomed and last but not the least where I became a better person. Yes, folks I belong to Jharkhand!.

Jharkhand is a state in eastern India. It was carved out of the southern part of Bihar on 15th November, 2000. Jharkhand shares its border with the states of Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to the west, Orissa to the south, and West Bengal to the east. The state’s name means “the land of forests” and the land area is about 49,821 square miles. As you guessed, most of the land is covered in trees! Ranchi is the capital and the population here is roughly 33 million. The state is a tribal one, dominated and controlled by indigenous tribal folk because this region is so fertile enough for agricultural values like paddy, wheat, maize and pulses, added to it, being a forest region. Jharkhand also provides great values of forest produces as a major economical status to the state. The state official animal is Elephant and Cuckoo is the state bird. This state can also be said as a blessed piece of land on earth with all sort of natural credibility and treasures to mankind such as copper, coal, iron, manganese, mica, chromite and bauxite.

You can find pure, unadulterated joy in Jharkhand because this is one Indian state that has survived the ill effects of urbanization to a surprising degree. Forests, hills, valleys, waterfalls, wildlife, history, culture, charming towns and vibrant cities – everything embraces the visitor as only a slice of paradise on earth can. And the people, the pristine tribal communities who are the original dwellers of the land, rejoice in their visitors. Those who have returned to Jharkhand more than once, have discovered that the genuine Jharkhand is as exotic and beautiful as the mythical one and far more exciting than the one promoted by the visitor industry!!

Jharkhand is full of surprises. Archeaologists have unearthed pre-Harappan pottery, and pre-historic cave paintings and rock-art. That hint at ancient, cultured civilizations inhabiting these parts. Each sub-caste and tribal grouping Jharkhand has a unique tradition to uphold. Oraon comb-cut paintings can be traced back to ancient times. Kurmi a unique style of ‘sohrai’, where drawing outlines are scratched onto the surface of wall with nails and a wooden compass is used to etch the segmented lotus, Pashupati or Lord Shiva is depicted as a horned deity on the back of a bull. Red, black and white lines are drawn in pairs on either side to represent the ashes of ancestors. The Kurmis of Bhehwara use glyptic art to represent plants on the walls and floors of their homes. Mundas use their fingers to paint in the soft, wet earth of their homes and use unique motifs like the rainbow snake and plant forms of deities. Lavender-gray colored mud from rock-art sites next to Munda villages, are used with ochre mud as contrast colour. Ghatwals use glyptic paintings of animals on their forest dwellings. Turi who are a small community of basket-makers use predominantly floral and jungle-based motifs in natural earthy tones on the walls of their homes. Birhor, Bhuiya Birhor & Bhuiya use simple, strong, and authentic graphic forms like ‘mandalas’, painting with their fingers, crescents, stars, yoni, rectangles with corner petals, ovals with flared lines and concentric circles, are common. Manjhi Santhal – the striking warring figures painted in black or simple clay plaster walls are startling reminders that their origins probably had links with the Indus Valley civilization.

Basant Panchami (Saraswati puja), Holi, Rakhsha Bandhan, Dusshera, Diwali, Jitiyaa, Bhaiya Dooj and Chath Puja are the common hindu’s festivals celebrated throughout the state. Whereas, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha and Muharrum are the common muslim festivals.

Chath Puja is reckoned as one of the most important festivals of Jharkhand. The ‘Sun-God’ is worshiped in a different form here on the two special days. During this festival the setting Sun is worshiped with utmost sincerity and devotion. The inhabitants of the state have immense faith on this auspicious festival, which is celebrated two times a year once in the month of Chaitra or March, and the other time in which it is celebrated is the month of Kartik, which falls in the month of November. The harmonious melody of the lyrics chanted during this festival lets one immerse in the sanctity and the purity of this auspicious occasion. Besides the Hindus, some of the Muslims also actively participate in the holy ceremony. If we opt for redefining this festival then we can say that it is an expression of seeking blessings from the forces of the nature, thus representing the amalgamation of the Vedic and non-Aryan religion.

Jityya is celebrated by ladies who have kids. Long and a healthy life is what they ask for from Parwati (Lord Shiva’s wife). Ladies fast the entire day and adorn their kids with ‘kajal tika’ (black sooth produced from the oil diyas) on the forehead for keeping the evil eyes away. Kids are fed with the foods of their choice.

Bhaiya Dooj is the other prominent festival of Jharkhand. It is a festival purely dedicated to the love and affection between brothers and sisters. Brothers bless their sisters and also promises to protect them from all hardships. The celebration of Bhaiya Dooj in this state can be redefined as a bond that speaks of sensitivity and timeless relationship.

Some of the important festivals of the tribal’s such as Karam, Baha, Sarhul and Sohrai are actually glaring example of the tribal spirit. And whatever the rituals, dance and music come naturally along with them. Simple tribal dances are mixed together with dances about the difficulty of life and social problems to create some vibrant and eclectic mixes. A number of Indian musicians have also come from Jharkhand.

Popular Dances of Jharkhand Photo courtesy: www.trekearth.com | www.indiaadvices.com

Palas phool or tesu ke phool are one of the common flowers seen in Jharkhand. Tribal women’s wearing it on their hair is a common sight. Palash flowers adore the trees from January end to March, making the tree top looks like its ablaze. Palash tree is also considered to be the Fire God’s incarnation. Mythology says that it was a punishment given to him by Goddess Parwati for disturbing her and Lord Shiva’s privacy. The wood is dirty white and soft. Being durable under water, the wood is used for well-curbs and water scoops. Good charcoal can be made from it. The flowers are used for dyeing clothes. It’s said that the cloth can tear but the color will never go… The red fiery flowers reminds me of one of my favorite poems:
“Basant ke aise dino mein,
jee chahta hai, jaaoon jhool,
iss ped se jhoola laga kar,
aur upar se barse tesu ke phool…”

Palash Ke Phool Photo courtesy: Prokrity Asad | www.skyscrapercity.com

‘Kadam’ flowers/ fruits are also common which is widely eaten raw or rejoiced as chutney or sabji. Here is me holding a couple of them 🙂

Kadam Ke PhoolPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

Jharkhand cuisine has more to it besides its ethnic eating habits. The land where the modern state of Jharkhand is spread across, was under the influence of Mughal rule, and thus, the Mughal cuisines have greatly influenced the cooking style and the tastes of the people residing in Jharkhand. Here is a list of the recipes of the people of Jharkhand: Bihari Litti, ole (suran or elephant feet) bharta, Sattu, Pittha, Nimki, Thekua (dessert), Besan (gatte ki sabzi), Mitha Khaza, Kala-Chana Ghoogni, Til Barfi, Aloo Chokha, Kohde (kadime) ke phool ke pakode, Kacchu ke Patte ke Pakode (Patra), Sehjan ke phool ke pakode, Chana Dal ki Kachree, Pua, Singal and Khichdi. Thekua is one of the popular dishes of Jharkhand. It is also known as khajoor and is a homemade dessert. Thekua is a sweet dish which is also crispy. It is a dessert made by mixing sugar, wheat, flour and chopped coconuts. The sweet concoction can be carried along with you in long journeys, as it can be stored safely for a few days. Moreover, it is very easy to prepare thekua. In Jharkhand, vegetables are a high priority in the meals. Most of the plant parts are cooked in different varieties eg. chutney, subji, daal or can be eaten raw. A plant’s leaf, flower, stem and fruits everything can be served as a different delicacy altogether. There is a wide variety of non-veg items too.

Delicacies of JharkhandPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

This is one place where the sun seems to radiate hope. The evening sky overflows with stars. The hills seem to be moving like the waves of the sea. The tribal drums weave their rhythmic magic. And the spirit revives in an atmosphere that is best described as unique. Life seems far less complicated and far more captivating when you are in Jharkhand. Here is where you can do your own thing – follow what everybody else follows, or break pleasure of a walk-in the-woods.

Yes. Jharkhand is perfect. The kind of perfection that exists somewhere between your head and heart. Relax. Play. Do business. Party. Withdraw. Study. Build relationships. Enrich yourself culturally. Seek entertainment. Find delight.

I invite you to come and feel the warmth of Jharkhand… Johar! Hiju’ bin (Namaste! You are welcome!)

🙂 🙂

More links to read about Jharkhand:
jai-jharkhand.blogspot.in
incrediblejharkhand.com
india-in-your-home.com
indfy.com/jharkhand/food.html
jharkhandtourism.in/artculture/people.htm

 

If you think,you are too small to make a difference…
Try sleeping with a mosquito… 🙂 🙂

– Dalai Lama

Happy weekend awesome people!!

— Happy Weekend

Does Hard Work Really Pay??

The Poor CollierPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

Early Illegal Coal Mining Photo courtesy: http://inficentre.blogspot.in

“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” -Sam Ewing

At a production rate of over 300 million tonnes (MT) per year, India is the third-largest coal miner after China and the US. Until the 1980s, much of India’s coal was extracted from the eastern coalfields (Jharia and Raniganj) in Jharkhand/West Bengal. Now, with the thrust on industrial development, besides intensifying extraction in existing projects through increased mechanization, other coalfields have opened up around India, in particular, the central coalfields of north Karanpura, stretching across Jharkhand (once south Bihar) to the west of Dhanbad, the ‘coal’ capital of India, located on the Jharia coalfields. The Raniganj–Jharia coalfields are still significant, producing about 25 MT per year.

Regardless of this, a major section of jobless people in the mining areas of Jharkhand do not have any choice but to support the illegal trade. They often risk their lives to enter into dangerous mines to earn some bucks to feed their families. It is said that hard work is the yeast that raises the dough. But, when I saw these colliers (koyla cycle wallahs), wobbling and pushing their bikes laden high with stolen coal, slowly making their way through the steep and twisting forest roads on my trip to Jharkhand this time, I saw and felt the pain they go through every single day in their life! They push bicycles carrying huge loads of crudely-coked coal in jute sacks for approx 70kms every alternate day! Their life is typical of that of many thousands of Jharkhand illegal coal miners. The irksome job they do everyday just leaves them with all the tiredness, diseases and a huge hole in their hearts. To grow up here is to know that death, massive and swift, can come at any time.

Life of a collier starts early around 3:00 am. They pack their tiffins and leave their home by 3:30 am. Reaching the colliery and mining the coal takes around 4-5 hours of tough hard work. They have to finish this as soon as possible fearing the police raids. But it doesn’t stop here for them. Once the coal is mined and is taken out, it is packed in large sacks and is then tied on their bicycles. Each collier travels 70km approx carrying around 1-5 quintal (1quintal=100 kgs) of coal every alternate day. The sacks are heavy and their body is thin… The hectic job of dragging these bicycles for so long takes a minimum of 12 hours and a maximum of 24 hours depending on their strength. They pant: they rest, they chat: they smile: they sing, they laugh… its certainly not a bed full of roses for them. Carrying so much weight for such long hours, affects their lungs the most. Most well known is a condition called pneumoconiosis, which is the name given to a group of lung diseases caused by the inhalation and retention of dust of various sorts. It’s also called industrial dust disease. In miners coal dust is to blame and the condition is also known as black lung disease or anthracosilicosis. They are also very much prone to diseases like Tuberculosis (TB), emphysema and chronic bronchitis at a very early stage of their life. It is not surprising that most of these colliers die in their early 40’s and 50’s. A day of hard work, mining, carrying, selling takes a toll on their body, mind and heart. They work a day and are not able to move the next day. Their body gives up! But they have to survive in this cruel world. So, they rise again and repeat the same story every alternate day! All these hard work and at the end of the day what they earn is rupees 500 – 1800!

Indira Gandhi once said –“My grandfather told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.”

Similarly, my father told me a very interesting story about them this time. He said that there are often police raids for such illegal activities and people who are caught are severely punished. But this time, the DSP did a strange thing which changed the perspective of these colliers towards the police totally. Generally, during such police raids, they catch the colliers who ride bicycle as it is easy to catch them riding on vehicles. The bigger mafias who carry such illegal activities in big trucks, bikes and other vehicle for carrying coal, generally escapes. They have a big group and somehow they get the news and it doesn’t take much time for them to fly away on their respective vehicles. But these colliers who carry the coal on bicycles are not able to do so and hence are caught easily.

So, this time when 10 of them were caught, they were stopped and were asked to drag their bicycles to the police station. When the DSP saw this, he ordered some of his policemen to drag the bicycle instead as most of the colliers were old men. Surprisingly, none of the police man was able to drag the heavy bicycle for more than 10 steps. They were badly panting and were not in a position to move the bicycle an inch more. Seeing this, the DSP said -“Young people like you are not able to move these bicycles for 70 meters, think how these old men drag it for 70 kms every alternate day! Think about the real hard work they do just to buy two meals per day for their poor families. If you really wanna do something, catch hold of them who carry this illegal trade on vehicles. They are the real culprits! He let the old colliers leave.

Now, some of you may ask.. if it is illegal why they have to do this? Why can’t they search for some other job? When they are aware of the risks of coal mining why can’t they save themselves? The answer can be many. But the main answer is unemployment and illiteracy! These people are generally very less or not literate at all since most of them start helping their parents at a very early age. The age can vary between 4-12. Often, they aren’t allowed to go to school as they have hungry and sick people at home to feed and cure. Medicines are expensive and the food prices have increased. They can’t opt for other jobs as most of the shops need a literate worker. They can choose to work in fields which they generally do during the monsoons as the mines get filled with water and it is not possible for them to enter it. But what they earn is maximum 120/- per day for 8-9 hours of hard work according to the going Jharkhand labor rate. So, even if they work for a week what they earn will be 840 rupees. Is this sufficient for a family to survive in today’s economy? The answer is a big NO! The income doesn’t even compare, so it is clear why someone with no employment opportunities would choose this work, despite the dangers.

These colliers by no means want their children to follow their path. They want them to study and become a “BIG MAN“. So that they don’t have to do such hard work and they too can have a good life! They can support their families better. This leaves me with the thought that does hard work really pay? Just for their sheer strength, determination and endurance (despite back-breaking experience), I admire them, if not endorse. In their context I guess the saying: “If hard work was the key to success, donkey would have been the king of the jungle” is absoutely correct!! To me they are the real HE-MEN, rather than COAL-BLOODED HE-MEN!! I hope some day their dreams come true and they lead a much more healthier and happier life

Amen..

You can view the sad story of this koyla cycle wallahs beautifully captured by Sophie Gerrard here.

World Anger Day vs World Happiness Day

World Anger Day vs World Happiness Day

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” ― Ambrose Bierce

Today (August 28) is World Anger Day (did we need a reminder?). Seriously, had never heard about this day until today…! So, are we supposed to tame or unleash the devil within today? Grrrrrr!!!… I guess if we see someone shouting or being angry we know what’s the reason behind it >.<

Today, what is of concern is that this loss of control over the anger handle seems to be happening to people who are not usually considered angry or aggressive. Something seems to be driving even the calm and civil amongst us towards anger and aggression.

What is anger?
Anger is an emotional response to an obstacle or a threat. It is a burst of energy, a compulsive reaction to anything that threatens to obstruct what we wish to do. We react with anger if we perceive a threat – to our plans, to our identity, to our Ego.

What drives us to anger?
Several instances like – hurt, humiliation, and injustice (real or presumed); loss of control and our inability to cope with a situation. When we feel pressed, pushed and pressured, we react with anger.

But anger is really a secondary reaction – behind it and behind all the instances that drive us to anger, lie two root emotions – fear and frustration.

Today, we live in a time when everything is controlled by technologies. Everywhere there is speed and so is pressure. We are no longer following the normal rhythm of our body. Instead, we are becoming more and more mechanical in our ways. All these tools, technologies, gadgets are determining our life and so our moves. This leads to more and more frustration, stress, fatigue and fear.

Here the question is do we really need this day?? Isn’t there enough hatred, fights, anger and inhumanity already prevailing?? In the Buddhist tradition, Anger is always anger, and just that. It is a mental poison, and no reason, however good it may seem, can justify the aggressive expression of anger. Finally, anger, expressed as anger, is a reaction to a threat. A reaction. What we need to do is not react but rather to respond. “Respond” etymologically from “Responsibility”. That’s the key.

Won’t this world be a better place if everyone is happy?? Be it in any way. Oh! yes… indeed it will be a much better place to live in. The United Nations has declared that March 20th each year will be the International Day of Happiness – and it wants everyone to join in the fun of being happy. “The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal,” said the resolution, which was passed by consensus in the 193-member assembly. I guess this day will be worth celebrating… what do you say??? Or should I say that lets celebrate each and every day of our life making it a HAPPY DAY!! Help others, eat well, remain healthy, explore, do whatever you like…. make this world a happy place.

Amen…

New Facebook Timeline Cover :)

Well.

I promise I haven’t given up on my blog and I know my blog needed some love! Lately I’ve been just too busy with work, shopping for family, cleaning, traveling aah… there is a long list… But nevertheless I enjoyed doing everything 🙂

Last week I got some breathing time and I made this FB timeline cover for my Gulmohar Doodles fan page. I wanted to do this for a long time but somehow it was always getting postponed but hey… I finally managed to make it… 🙂 Here is a snapshot of the cover.

New Facebook Timeline Cover

If you’d like to have a sneak peak of my Facebook fan page here is the link please do visit it because I keep on updating it with the latest things 🙂 So tell me what you think of my new cover page? And don’t forget to comment… I would love to hear from you all.

I hope everyone is enjoying the Bangalore weather and had a great weekend 🙂

Dear Web User: Please Upgrade Your Browser

I am no wonder a big fan of Smashing Magazine. So as usual today when I was going through it, I got to read this article on upgrading browser by Louis Lazaris. Being a UI developer, I know what a big pain it is making websites which work and functions properly in the old browsers specially Internet Explorer. A huge amount of time is consumed and wasted in making sites functional for this particular browser.

So, dear web users, it is my humble request to all of you who are using such vintage browsers, please please read this article and upgrade your browser so that we can help in making the web a better place.

Happy upgrading!! 😀

My Vintage Wallpapers

Just some good old memories of my year 2009 smashingmagazine published wallpapers (Smashing magazine is one of the best online magazines which delivers useful and innovative information to web designers and developers). I was still learning photoshop at that time and was always eager to try the new brushes, effects and online tutorials. And all those lead to the creation of these wallpapers… Looking at them now, after three years, I feel it to be a little weird…but then this is how it all started 🙂 Here is the list:

The Demonic Divas
The Demonic Divas

Happy Friendship Month
Happy Friendship Month

Darkness with Rays of Light
Darkness With Rays Of Light

Glamour Girls
Glamour Girls

Paperversary

HAPPY WEDDING ANNIVERSARY Photo courtesy: Prakash Bajracharya

“One by one each month flew by, since we both said “I do”…Twelve months of memories, shared by the two of us. From big events and holidays to simple daily pleasures,Some tearful times along life’s way, some joys that can’t be measured…One by one each month now is gone, but still they’re ours forever…Each and every memory, of one year together! Happy Anniversary to us!!” ♥♥

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary on 19th June! Rewind to an year ago, the most important day in our life so far!! My life seems complete and I couldn’t ask for anything more but to add more happiness in this little family we’re building now… Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love does gives us a fairy tale!!

Tradition says that your first wedding anniversary is called a Paperversary. You are supposed to exchange simplistic gifts made of paper; like a sentimental card or notebook, a printed picture or a small paper sculpture. The reasoning behind this tradition is little confusing, but here is the gist of what I’ve found out: The first year of marriage is supposedly the hardest. A young couple who is struggling to make ends meet, while trying to build a strong and a solid relationship, home and family foundation all at the same time. Regardless of how long a couple has been dating, living together, or known one another, their first wedding anniversary is both a sacred and special one. It is an anniversary of new beginnings, new bonds and new feelings – because no matter how you slice it, things ARE different once you get married…

“We’re all a little weird and life is also a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness – and call it love – true love.” – Robert Fulghum

I met my husband in 2007.. he was my senior at my office and at that time none of us even dreamt that we both will get married… but love and faith mostly brought us together as husband and wife, and gave each of us a best friend for life… Being one of those couples who are from totally different part of the same country, with vast differences in language, tradition, thinking and cooking, it was really a tough time for us to get adjusted to one another thought and like process… But am happy to say that despite of all the struggles we went through in this one year, it has only brought us more close and more loveable to each other… and I give all the credit to my dear husband who was with me in all my tough times… in my laughs and in my tears… in my anger and in my patience, in my boredom and in my joy…. Believe me there is no feeling more comforting and consoling than knowing you are right next to the one you love…. So, here it is… Happy First Wedding Anniversary to me and my dearest husband Bala, the north lady and the south hero 🙂

Cheers!!

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