The final wait

You wait and wait for years.

Ultimately, the thing you were waiting for, happens.

You realise, how futile was everything you worried for.

What next?

How will you find that?

That long wait and the finality of it?
Life brings many things to cherish.

Let’s live and let live.

 we have all  heard about next births and previous births.

But, to be very fair, who knows what is the truth?

The truth is the present moment, the truth is now!

Merge with the divine.

Realise the ultimate goal of life.

This long wait, taught me this.

©2017 Ananya Dash All rights reserved

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Rajja: A unique festival of odisha

Odisha is a state that is known for its ancient and rich culture.And as it is an ancient place, it’s got to have many traditions. Thankfully, odias have preserved them all.  There are variety of festivals that are celebrated throughout the year in our state. There is a popular saying in our state  “Bara masa re tera parba”- we have 13 festivals in 12 months.So, today I am going to describe about one of those thirteen festivals. The festival is Rajja.Rajja is also the most popular festival of  those  thirteen in our state. 

Rajja is celebrated in the month of June and  everytime it falls  around  mid June. This time, in the year 2017, it fell on  14th of June.It continued till 16th of june .It is celebrated for three days and during these days, no one does any work.Women don’t do any domestic or outdoor work. Men also do not do anything.They are supposed to enjoy themselves and have fun. No work is done and those three days are only for merriment. It is basically the festival of unmarried girls.They get to enjoy to the utmost. Girls are given all the importance, this is our(women folk’s) festival. The day before the first day of rajja is known as Sajja Baja. On this day, the preparation for the rajja days are made. Everyone is very excited about the upcoming event and this excitement adds to the happiness of the festival. The first day of Rajja is known as Pahili  rajja or the first day of raja , the second day is known as majhi rajja or the middle day and the last day is known as Basi rajja or the end day. During these three days, girls wear new clothes(minimum 3 for 3 days), dress themselves beautifully,play on swings,play traditional rajja games , go out and have fun, eat variety of  odia delicacies, have the special rajja  pana (betel leaf) and do anything and everything that brings merriment.

Girls play on beautifully  decorated swings to mark the occasion. Decorated swings are symbolic of the joy that this festival brings.

Traditional odia food items are prepared. The most popular being various  Pithas(Odia cakes), which are basically prepared from rice flour. My personal favourite pitha is poda pitha and karanji pitha.

Poda pitha

Karanji pitha

The earth is considered to be the mother. Thus, according to the popular belief, as women menstruate, which is a sign of fertility, so does mother earth. So  these three days of Rajja are considered to be the menstruating period of mother earth. And hence, all the agricultural activities remain suspended for these three days. No work is done on agricultural fields or on earth, thus not disturbing mother earth in any way. She is given rest.After this she’ll be ready for productivity.

Rajja welcomes the rainy season. So everyone celebrates,  as with the onset of rainy season , the earth is ready for production and people also get respite from the scorching heat, thus they welcome  the season with great pomp and show.Typically, after this festival, the rainy season hits our state.Thus, making the earth ready for productivity.So, the weather during Rajja remains clouded. Infact, clouded weather is always called as Rajja  paga ( rajja weather) in our state.

Rajja pana

In this festival, men are not left behind. Traditionally they play games like kabbadi, cards and dicing. Everyone enjoys and celebrates. It’s a gala time for every odia.

So, overall, it’s a festival that is filled with only enjoyment. I don’t know how else should I be describing it.  The fact that I love about this festival is there is no puja. Unlike other Hindu festivals and traditions, in this festival, no deity or god is worshipped. The 3 days are only for enjoynment.  Thus it’s the most popular festival in our state.

Rajja ended on 16th June, and I still miss those three days so much. It was very special for me this time. I will never forget it. I just hope next year, rajja comes again with the same aura, as it did this year. I miss it so much, that I thought of writing about it.

Also, today is another very special festival, which is celebrated the  world over. Today is Lord Jagannath’s Ratha Jatra. I will write about our beloved Lord, in a separate section very soon, describing about the great stories and beliefs associated with Lord Jagannath and the 12th century shrine. Till then, Happy Ratha Jatra everyone! 

©2017Ananya Dash All rights reserved.

Rainy days

Looking  at the overcast sky,

My heart dances with  joy.

The soft drizzle sprinkled on my face, 

Spreads its freshness everywhere.

So serene, so beautiful is this feeling! 

The smell of the wet soil!

Well,can words describe it? 

 The aroma gives a new meaning to everything.

World feels alive.

The rain  water gives a new lease of life.

Everything is brighter, everything cleaner. 

Celebrate everyone! 

It’s the arrival of rainy days! 

©2017 Ananya Dash All rights reserved.

Silver filigree of cuttack.

Cuttack is a very ancient city in the state of Odisha. It is famous for its lip smacking food and beautiful artistry. One of the most notable feature of this place that makes it popular all over India is its silver filigree work. Filigree refers to the intricate ornamentation done with twisted metal wires. Each creation of this beautiful work by the artisans is bound to keep you enchanted.

Silver filigree is an age old tradition in odisha. This artistry is said to be existing since 500 years. If you’re an odia girl, you are bound to have at least one  ornament of silver having this intricate design. There are various types of creations that are made with this art, the most popular being the work depicting lord  Jagannath and his siblings. This is presented as a souvenir and is very popular. 

Silver filigree work is known as “Tarakasi” in odia. There are various types of styles and designs that are made with this art. One can find various types of designs, including  jewellery, purses, crockery, famous statues and many other things, the list is endless.( And I am actually tired to type much :p)

 One would find different pieces having different designs, each one is unique in itself. They are really eye catching. There are varied forms available to suit different tastes. The artistry is really very delicate. 

Now, these are all handmade. So, there is a lot of precision involved when the artisans are doing their work. It takes a lot of effort to make these beautiful pieces. Thus, the pricing is also quite high but not as high so as to burn a hole in your pocket. The piece of art that you take home, is worth all the money.

These silver filigree ornaments are also worn by odissi dancers. Odissi is the classical dance form of odisha. 

This form of art is my personal favourite because of its uniqueness! 

The silver filigree work is also used to decorate goddess Durga during dussehra. This decoration is called as “chandi medha”. This puja is celebrated with lot of fun and frolick. The puja symbolises  victory of good over evil and also showcases woman power.

The above picture shows a ” chandi medha”. Many”medhas” made to mark the occasion of the puja. 

Don’t you think this is awesome? So, if anytime you  come to visit odisha, do not forget to take away with you these beautiful forms of art.  Afterall,they are such a delight to the eye, aren’t they? 

Image courtesy: Google.

©2017 Ananya Dash All rights reserved

The forest

I look out, 

The  darkness of the night welcomes me.

Stars twinkle in the distant sky,

The moon  in all it’s glory ,plays hide and seek with me.

The clouds are it’s refuge.

The cold breeze blows softly, 

making me feel…well, this feeling is so different!

There  are no buildings outside,

And  technology doesn’t play spoil sport in this  natural paradise. 

This forest before me, is my spiritual refuge! 

It’s darkness  welcomes me every night.

 And it is this darkness that  lulls me  to sleep! 

©2017 Ananya Dash All rights reserved

Pudding love

Where did it all start? 

Sometimes I wonder and smile to myself.

Was it meant to happen?

I don’t know.

Oh! How happy and satisfying is this feeling 

Do I feel guilty? 

No. Not at all.

It’s midnight, I open the fridge.

And I am savouring the chocolate pudding!

I cannot have enough of it. I cannot have enough of it.

Ummm….how tasty it is! 

I then think about it all over again and smile.

Was it meant to happen?

Where did it all start?

©2017 Ananya Dash All rights reserved

The Road

The Road appears dusty,with no passerby to ask for help.

I am a lone traveller, glaring at the hot soil beneath me.

I see fumes of vapour rising from this same soil, far off.

What will happen now, where am I to go?

I feel stranded in an alien land, with only a road before me. 

The entire landscape appears hazy now, like the fuming vapour from the soil.

My legs feel weak, and beads of sweat drench me in their rain.

Oh, what is this pain that I feel? It has gripped my entire being!

Am I not going to cover the distance and taste victory?

Victory!? Is it victory that I will find at the end of this road?

Who knows. 

©2017 Ananya Dash All rights reserved

Heart’s voice

Watch what the heart has to say,

Let not the mind come in it’s way.

Sometimes, you need to accept things as they come, 

And not fret over them like  dumb.

You cannot always be sure that the heart is right,

But, not following your heart,will  only increase your plight.

As, friend, your heart is the voice of your soul,

And without it, you’re as good as a pole.

©2017 Ananya Dash All rights reserved

Inner light

Dark it appears all around,

Is there no door to escape?

I search for my inner light,

Which I can no where find, 

Only brood over the past. 

Am I not wasting time? They ask.

I sob and search for my inner light.

Hoping that some day things will change,

And all the troubles will be laid to rest.

And I will then take a flight,

With my inner light.

©2017 Ananya Dash All rights reserved