Tag Archives: achiever

Quick Bite with Sonnet Mondal

Sonnet Mondal has read, and represented India, at literary festivals in Macedonia; Cork, Ireland; Istanbul, Turkey; Granada, Nicaragua; Sri Lanka; and Slovakia. Winner of the 2016 Gayatri Gamarsh Memorial award for literary excellence, Sonnet was one of the authors of Silk Routes Project, IWP, University of IOWA. One of the current directors of Odisha Art & Literature Festival, Sonnet Mondal edits the Indian section of Lyrikline Poetry Archive, Berlin and serves as the Editor in Chief of the Enchanting Verses Literary Review (www.theenchantingverses.org) His upcoming visits include 2018 Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka.

  1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

I just scribbled one piece of 10 lines, back in 2006 which I don’t recall as a poem, but something which drew me into writing poetry.

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

A poet’s eye is his sensitivity and together with intellect, he creates an aperture called poetry through which readers can perceive that everything we see, feel, hear and sense is not everything. I feel like travelling through my deepest emotions while writing poetry and it allows me to examine and re-examine the world. The way how I see life is best communicated through this journey.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

No single piece of art can relate to all walks of life at the same time. Poetry portrays those emotions which cannot be pictured — through any direct exact way or through any other genre of literature.

Taking poetry as a curiosity and a form of expression — it has always had a limited yet pronounced space in the world.  The general mindset — that people don’t understand poetry and are unenthusiastic about reading poetry is a misconstrued rendition of the queries  — that readers have about poetry while thinking of buying an anthology. May be — it can be addressed to a certain extent by incorporating more poetry sessions or workshops in literary festivals or events.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

Thoughts have no time to arrive. They may pop up even in extreme situations. They are extremely volatile and evaporate easily from mind. So I mostly make notes whenever they surface in my mind and later I work upon them after 12 at night. Night somehow allows me to give the much desired shape to my muse. The desire to have an element of surprise in my life and the desire to have a sight of the skyline through the uplifting mistiness, often inspire me to write down poems.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

Waves as such come, break and dissipate into obscurity. I think ‘Poetry’ and ‘Insta-poetry’ should not be confused. Poetry is the most pithy and figurative of all genres of literature and these artificial prefixes added to the word ‘Poetry’ don’t make them what we have known or what I call as poetry.

  1. Where do you want to take your work in the future in terms of poetry?

I never thought about taking my poetry somewhere. It travels with me like my shadow. Poetry once on paper is independent and can travel on its own — beyond the fences set by desire or time.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for organising such wonderful event.

Thanks Haris, Smita Anand and Kirbaa Karan for the wonderful pictures!

Quick Bite with Saima Afreen

Calcutta is where she grew up. To breathe she churns poems; to earn a living she works as a journalist. Her poems have been featured in The McNeese Review, The Notre Dame Review, The Nassau Review, The Asian Age, The Telegraph, The Times of India, and many other publications. Her poems have been part of several anthologies. She was invited as a poet delegate to Goa Arts and Literature Festival, 2016, Guntur Poetry Festival, TEDx VJINET, Writers Carnival, Aliah University and several other poetry platforms. She is currently working on the manuscript of her first poetry book.

  1. Can you say something about what made you write your first poem?

I was 14 when began writing poems. All I can reminisce is, one day I was feeling really restless; there was an unnamed angst which boiled inside me and wanted to erupt, get scattered. I picked up my pen, opened my notebook and wrote a poem in iambic pentameter about a crushed rose, its mingling with dust; edited it and then sent the work to The Asian Age newspaper, which had a column for students who wrote poetry. I then knew that something has changed inside me which demands to be spilled on the paper tearing a sliver of my soul.

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

Poetry is an attempt to capture the zone that flickers briefly between the fields of light and darkness. In that short a duration a poet picks up what his eye catches, his mind registers and his cells record which may not be longer than the period when the fork between two leaves holds a raindrop only to let it fall the very next moment. This speck of time is distilled, crafted, resuscitated and then blown into life while it still remains a shadow of its own shadow. It holds the hand of the reader to make him part of this magical realm.

A sort of trance possesses me while I write poetry, the feeling is indescribable.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out of its confined literary circle?

Poetry is wind, it’s always there. If you close the window and complain it’s sultry, you deny the breeze an invitation. Poetry is not rocket science, everyone can understand it and explore the journey the poet took to write the words. Can we see music? Why does an orchestra piece appeal to us? There’s something which connects with one’s being and makes one listen to it even when you don’t comprehend its nuances and the grammar involved.

Poetry isn’t confined in literary circles. If that were the case then mystic poet Rumi wouldn’t be embraced by so many people in today’s world. That’s how the other day at The Brew Room during the ongoing poetry session so many people turned up that there was hardly any space to stand, and trust me not all of them were students/aficionados of literature. Poetry festivals and reputed journals bring readers and poets together in a much faster way than before.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

No. There is no specific day or mood for me to write. Poetry comes on its own, uninvited, unannounced. It doesn’t even knock, it just stares at the pen and seeps onto the paper without me realising what’s happening. The images, of course, are already there in the subconscious lending voice to the words, colour to the depiction. Often, while I draft my journalistic reports, poems find their way onto the page. It so happened that one day while I was mentioning Russian ballerinas in one of my articles, a poem seized me till I wrote it. I titled it ‘A Song for the Twisted Feet of a Russian Ballerina’ published in an issue of The McNeese Review.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

Depends who’s writing what. Your question has the answer. We often see oh-that-poor-brown-girl-troubled-by-misogyny-racism kind of poems bringing myriads of likes on Insta pages. Does it have the beauty of craft? Is it different from the usual attention-grabbing cacophony? Not often. Sample the beauty in these lines from Nayyirah Waheed:

           can we speak in flowers

           it will be easier for me to understand.

                       — other language

At the same time, not all, in the ‘new wave of Insta poetry’, are capable of tenderness and mastery of words. It’s a trend with ‘#MeToo’ kind of poems, if at all they meet the condition of being called poems.

  1. Where do you want to take your work in the future in terms of poetry?

Poetry is epiphany. You are in constant motion where the topography changes with every step. You can harvest both fire and water without knowing which one will seep in your words. It’s a forest which moves, and with it you move. You can’t see anything while you are within it.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for the wonderful event.

Thanks Haris, Kirbaa Karan for the wonderful images!

Quick Bite with Sharanya Manivannan

Sharanya Manivannan is the author of four books, including the award-winning short story collection, The High Priestess Never Marries and the newly-released poetry collection, The Altar of the Only World.

1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

I wrote my first poem at 7 years old, and it was built around all the words I could think of that rhymed with “cat”.

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

I’ve written and read poetry for so much of my life it’s very much one of the modes through which I know myself. One of the greatest gifts poetry has given me has been consolation. At other times, it has been a way for me to salute beauty by trying to bring more into the world.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

The problem begins with how poetry is taught in schools. Students should never be forced to memorise poems, or be force-fed “meanings” of poems. This is a cruel and meaningless method, both to people and to poetry itself. Teach the word through voice, teach it as love, teach it as a shield against loneliness. It is difficult to change people’s minds later in life, when they’ve been traumatised by the way poetry has been introduced to them as children.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

Whenever a poem calls to me. This can be day or night. I’ve bolted upright from my sleep many times because the words were suddenly pouring out of me. Other times, it’s less dramatic — a subtle shift aided and accompanied by music.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

In a lot of ways, Insta-poetry is a reaction to the horrible way poems are taught in schools. I like the accessibility of the medium, but I dislike how it encourages laziness, the need for constant validation, and a skewed relationship with one’s own work — it ceases to be craft if you’re counting likes.

  1. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

I’m trying to become better as a writer of fiction, and as an illustrator. I hope poetry forgives me these extramarital alliances.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for the wonderful events!

Thanks Haris for the amazing pictures!

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo bloggers and Prakriti foundation

Quick bites with Erik Lindner

Erik Lindner is a poet born in 1968 in The Hague, The Netherlands. He has published five books of poetry and the novel Naar Whitebridge (De Bezige Bij, 2013). His work has been translated into many languages and in France, Germany and Italy. He has read on numerous international festivals all over the world and was a poet in residence in Berlin (DAAD Artists-in- Berlin Program), Taipei, Montreal, Athens, Marseille and Paris.According to a critic the poems of Erik Lindner can intensify our patterns of perception and sharpen our senses for what is possible.

1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

My first text were written in English and more than poems they were meant to be song verses, texts to sing. But I knew at the age of fifteen or so they weren’t any good, they were clichées. Than I wrote one line in Dutch: “De wereld is zojuist de trap afgelopen en sloeg zonder woorden de deur dicht.” This is maybe also not one of the best or very original lines, but it was different, it had a different sound, it was a little strange. What made me write it is that someone left and with that I knew things would change after.

2. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

What it means? I don’t know. I have never had high ambitious to become a poet, it is just the one thing I did that I always kept doing, the thing that was the most closest to me. Expressing in words somehow was more urgent than through images or melodies, although melody and rhythm is important in my work, also in the process of becoming a poem, in carrying it to a result. I can have all sort of feelings when I am working on a poem, from joy to sadness, the important is that putting down words again after a phase of contemplating or humming certain words together, is always a liberation. So to write makes me happy, yes. It has more than emotions or inspiration to do with a certain concentration that remains always rare. I cannot always be in that concentration, often have to wait until it is there.

3. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

No, poetry doesn’t speak to all kinds of people and indeed also not in all walks in life, if walks are meant to be different situations and circumstances. It could speak to more of them than they think, and also more often, but I have lost the evangelical approach that one would need to convince people poetry is good for them, if they don’t like it, let them do something else. But then again it is very necessary indeed to escape the literary circle, to survive as a poet, to learn from other people, to show it to other people than specialists. When I started in the 1980’s, I worked with musicians and we had poetry readings in youth clubs, alternative or squated theaters. That had quite a following, I could live from that in 1986 at the age of 18. These were audience that hardly read literature. But when my work grew and became less theatrical and more condensed and I was going towards my first official book in 1996, I depended on the inner circle of editors, publishers, specialists. Still, traveling is important, meeting new people, seeing how different poetry is in every culture in the world. And another example, I work with a very good art photographer Stephan Keppel and at openings of his exhibitions he asks me to read some poems. And his audience is not used to poetry readings, they take my words as images without frames around the picture. I like that escape of the inner circle very much.

4. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

I used to write in the late evening or early evening, but that robs one from having a social life. April 2000 I wrote my first poem waking up in the morning with a cup of coffee next to me. I remember quite well the sensation of concentration it gave. Of course, one must be good awake and not sleepy. What makes me write a poem can be many occasion, just as a poem can be theoretically about everything. But not every line can be in a poem, they must be the right lines on that specific moment. I am building up to it every time, making notes, walking around, trying to see carefully the details. And very prosaic: a deadline helps.

5. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

I haven’t study it, I must say. It will interest me when a good poem comes out of it. I am not against using new media, that is only good. I have also collaborated on two video poems*. But a lot of these waves are temporary, somehow everyone always gets back to paper, even if other medium are at times more practical to carry.

6. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

Basically everywhere. I like to go back to places I have been before, create a deeper bound with them. I need to travel more in Asia, Africa and America. But than again, even with how much I was lucky to travel with poetry since 1988, I still need more decent English translations. I have books published in German, Italian and French and that felt as an enrichment coming from a small country.  But a future poetry book in English will take my work a bit easier to readers than before.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for organising wonderful events.

Thanks Kirbaa Karan and charles for the pictures.

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo bloggers and Prakriti foundations.

Quick bites with Brian Turner

Brian Turner is a writer and musician living in Orlando, Florida. He curates The Kiss series at Guernica, soon to be published as an anthology by W.W. Norton & Company in 2018. He’s written a memoir (My Life as a Foreign Country), two collections of poetry Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise, and co-edited The Strangest of Theatres (McSweeney’s/The Poetry Foundation). He is currently at work on a second memoir, The Wild Delight of Wild Things, and an album of music with The Interplanetary Acoustic Team entitled 11 11 (Me, Smiling). He is the founding director of the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.

1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem?

I am not sure that I actually remember writing my very first poem, as I was very young when that took place during elementary school. After that, a number of years passed by and then I began writing poems and song lyrics as a teenager. I loved music and also the ability of language to reach for the inexpressible, the ineffable, the sublime.

2. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

When I am deep in the process of making, and I have wandered far out into the landscape of the imagination, I have a sense of timelessness–and that feeling is addictive! This experience is mirrored in many walks of life, but I normally access it through the meditative practice of writing and contemplation. I often feel connected to something very personal and yet, simultaneously, something far beyond the sense of self when I write. The imagination is a vast ocean of memory and life, and its deepest waters are located within the subconscious. 

3.Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

Part of what makes Poetry with Prakriti wonderful is that it answers this very question–by bringing poetry out of the theater and into the streets and communities of the entire city. When I was a student, I would read the poems from my poetry workshop (my own poems and the poems of my classmates) to strangers waiting with me at the bus stop. I wanted to see how poems resonated with people who were not necessarily connected to the institutions where poetry is supported and nurtured and given an academic haven. Furthermore, I wanted to ensure that my poems could be read, heard, enjoyed, and meditated on by anyone who might offer their attention to them.

4. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

There’s no specific time of day, though I am a night-owl and I like to stay up very late–mostly because that’s when the city sleeps. The collective unconscious is deep at work late at night. If I’m lucky, perhaps I can listen well enough to discover images and music arising from the city as it dreams.
 I am normally pulled by an image or phrase that compels my ear with its music. Normally I am driven by curiosity for something mysterious which I do not understand fully. A poem is a meditation, and the meditation is a search through the darkness to further the map of the known. It is an exploration into the unknown, a kind of singing into the dark. A kind of deep listening for the voices that respond to that singing.

5.What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

As in all forms of poetry, I am moved by poems that enlarge and augment the imagination. Here’s a simple test of the poem: Once you turn the page, is there a reason to turn back and read it again? That is, does the poem continue, like a deep well, to draw water each time we lower the bucket into it? Another way of saying this–I love to read and experience poems that are layered, multivalent, with spokes of fire radiating from a central hub. These are the poems that I love to read and hear aloud, and these are the poets I continue to learn from and enjoy.

6. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

Each poem and each book is a journey toward something I need to learn. I know that if I am attentive enough to the world within and without, and attentive enough to the musicality of the language, the architecture of form within language–and if I never waver from looking at what must be looked at–then the poems will teach me more about the world I live in and about myself within that world. The world continually surprises me, and poetry is a lens that illuminates that surprise, offering delight and pain, and, when I’m fortunate, a kind of wisdom.

Thanks Prakriti Foundation for organizing such wonderful event.

Thanks Kirbaa karan, Haris and Smita Anand for the pictures.

All images are copy right protected to madras Photo bloggers and Prakriti foundation.

The Pen’s Allurement – Poorna Swami

The crowd gathered was already traveling in a world of magical dream and Once Poorna Swami began her recital, the transformation of thoughts unveiled the senses. Clad in a white Saree, peaceful as a dove with a charismatic smile Ms Poorna had the ability to indulge every listener and guide them deep into the jungles of solitude.

Born in Bangalore Ms Poorna started writing poems from the age of six. During her childhood days poems were a collection of words that came to her mind framed to stanzas. Being a quite child, she developed a love towards the language by reading a lot of books and this paved the way to be a poet and express her interest in the language. Graduating from Mount Holyoke College she did a research study on African Studies Review focussing on Transnational Literature.

In her recent series of five Poems, “Poems in Saffron Ink” Ms Poorna condemned the current political situation in India and gave life to slain victims through her words. “The hymn of sword and gunfire” – Scintillating and yet a verse with melancholy, Ms Poorna combines the cold and calm entities to emote the characters of her poem.

“One doesn’t have to be a professional in literature to write poems”. she says, crediting to various malayalam poetry in social media which are being written by everyone with the knowledge in language and no exposure in the advanced literary world. Ms Poorna’s poems have a strong story behind and there is a lot of research behind every composition. Most of her works have a political touch voicing out the struggles and anguish of a common man. General Elections India. 2014, Prayer for Dadri 2015 and Assimilation are few of her poems that had the spark to revolutionize. Among her works she refers to Etymology as her favourite. A love poem written without punctuations it relieved her from the heart when written, says Poorna. Being an avid reader right from childhood Ms Poorna’s all-time favourite is Jack Gilbert’s “The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart”.

Apart from Poetry, Ms Poorna has also been dancing from the age of six. Also Graduated in Dance from Mount Holyoke College, she feels that dance helps to express what poetry cannot. Over the last few years she has been dancing for her own poetry and also performing for theatre events across the world.

Thanks Pakriti foundation for organizing such beautiful event in Chennai

Thanks Sai Karthik for the wonderful article.  All images are taken Kirbaa Karan and Haris Manian.

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo Bloggers and Prakriti Foundation.

The Festivals of Madras | Photo Series

Alike the national festivals – Independance day and republic day and religious festivals – Diwali, Holi, Navaratri Eid, Muhurram and Christmas etc ,.A large number of festivals and Fairs are celebrated in madras throughout the year.Also, Chennaities celebrate local festivals like Panguni Urstavam, Ther , Thai Pongal, Music and Dance Festival with great fervor in Chennai city. Below photos represent the various scenes of local festials and backstages. Thank you participants for submitting amazing photos for the festival theme.

Credits : Raghav Prasanna

Credits : Deepak Sundar

Credits :  Kirbaa Karan

Credits :  Lakshmi Ramanan

Credits :  Mukhil

Credits :  Prabhakar Ramakrishnan

Credits :  Ramesh Raja

 

Credits :  Sanath Kumar

Credits :  Shamini Shammu

Credits : Siva Prasad

Credits : Siva Prasad

GRANDEUR OF PARTHASARATHY THEER (CAR) FESTIVAL BY LAKSHMI RAMANAN

Madras Photo Bloggers is featuring  *Story Inspired by the Theer festival* article  by   Lakshmi Ramanan

◊ – words with the mark are explained below the images

Idly◊ was whistling away in the kitchen. The aroma of sambhar◊ wafted throughout the house. Filter kaapi◊ was the befitting beverage for that morning. Big golden silk borders adorned the mamas◊ and mamis◊ of the house alike, simplicity was reserved for another day. Tiny tots who were adorned with Srichoornam◊ ran in as time tickers, giving constant updates. All cousins had gathered under their grandfather’s house, it was ‘thaerottam’ or the car festival which was taking place in Triplicane◊ Parthasarathy temple.

“Keshavaa!”voice called out “Come here”

“Keshav Chittappaa◊! Thata◊ is calling you!” the little messenger screamed at the top of his voice as he rushed across the house

“Thata?” A deep voice responded briskly “Tell me”

“Keshu. Can we leave?” He said pulling his walking stick

“Thata! You have tied the panchakacham◊ very well” he said, “you are as always splendid young man” reaching his hand out to the Septuagenarian. He was someone whom you just have to respect, he commanded that out of people.  His grandfather was beaming with pride as the entire family of the old couple, his four sons and four daughters and the next two generations made their way through the crowd.

They went all the way near the thaer, and prostrated in front of the Lord. It was grandeur all around, The decoration around the Thaer was a league apart. The pagoda like top had cloth draped with srichoornam. Dwarakabalaka◊, Yali◊, and horses surrounded the Lord, while few men also made their way up. Among them were the pandits,◊ nadaswaram◊ and mirdamgam◊ players, playing exclusively to entertain the Lord. The lower half had many idols of the Lord was intricately carved in. The entire structure was supported by large wheels, taller than an average standing man. Streets had a festive look, they were washed clean, with large kolams◊ decorating every inch of tar road. It was a sight to behold. Keshav however looked around nonchalantly.

The procession started with the hymns being recited by the panchakacham clad pandits. Everyone prostrated before them marking their respects. Following them were fleets of photographers weaving in and out of the crowd. The finally chains of people aligned themselves clinging on to the chains dragging the thear. Behind the scenes was always something that was missed. A rod will give a tug to push the Thaer, three men will climb upon one wheel and pressure them to propel the thaer forward. It was undeniably focused team effort. To conclude it all would be a yet group of pandits who recited the vedas.

Keshav stared at the whole scene, his face was expressionless. “Grandeur – but why? Did the God ask for all this? If he is prevalent in everything, this is all meaningless. There is no peace in doing these, they distract us from praying” His troubled mind was never put to a rest. These thoughts kept coming back to him throughout the procession.

***

As the night fell over the tired streets, grandfather’s mind was fixating on Keshav and his disturbed . He went over to engage him in a conversation. “Does Perumal need this grandeur? He has everything doesn’t he? Same case at Tirumala◊. Did the Lord ask for these?” Keshav spoke fast, unable to hold the questions with himself any longer.  Thata took a deep breathe, I’m happy that you are asking the right questions. Thoughtful indeed. Kesu, these do not concern the Lord the least is the fact.”

Keshav opened his mouth, his grandfather held up his hand to silence him and continued

“With that said, why do we have these elaborate ceremonies? These ceremonies help us tune the mind, in fact so much of sastram◊ is to tune the mind. Why do we need to tune the mind should be your next question. Mind gives yo u ultimate control over the self, a great man is one who mastered the mind. To get there we can choose from the nine forms of devotion, Do know them?”

“Oh yes Thata! Listening, chanting, singing, archana◊, prayer, then like deva dasis◊, thinking Lord to be a friend, serving his feet and finally self-surrender. I remember them, but how do these help?”

“Devotion compels you to involve yourself. The drums, the beats, the agarbathhis◊, the abhisheka◊, the alankara◊, the slokas◊, the ithiasas, the puranas are the varied triggers for the different minds. Once they involve themselves into devotion it helps to spread positivity. Stay with me, “he paused , “The arrangement today, Hymns were sung even before the procession would start, leading the crowd through and through. While they dragged the car, they were shouting Govinda◊ Govinda and finally, vedas◊ were recited by a another group of pandits. These calm the atmosphere, spreading the positive vibe. That vibe can be felt when you visit a temple, when you stand in the pooja room, that calming vibe is set afloat. It is harnessing that positivity. Positive affirmation, harnessing that cosmic energy, and to be there one must be satisfied. Their wounds should have healed and they must believe in a greater source of power to keep them grounded.

As for grandeur – Rest assured God never asked for this sort of celebrations, we human would have would have come up with it to break the monotony of life, thus taking care of battling the stress factor. Then to admire the work of artists, what more does the artist want than appreciation and respect. Carpenters, Kolam artists, Painters, Dancers, Musicians, Bhajan Goshtis◊, cooks, the list is endless. This makes people happy, accepted and respected in that society. Society becomes a well-rounded one, people with diverse occupations well rewarded.”

Singing Hymns – A form of Devotion

A Classic Iyyangar style kolam and the view of the forerunners of the procession

A Classic Iyyangar style kolam and the view of the forerunners of the procession

Among the wave of pandits

Intricate carvings on the ratha / Car

Idly it is a south indian breakfast prepared from soaked rice and later steamed

Sambhar is side dish for Idly and other breakfast items; it is tamrind dal gravy with vegetables

Filter Kaapi – Coffee brewed with water forced through grounded beans; favourite beverage of many in Tamilnadu

Mama – A respectable way of calling male, usually who is older than oneself in TamBrahm household

Mami – A respectable way of calling female, usually who is older than oneself in TamBrahm household

Srichoornam – The three lines appearing on the forehead of Shri Maha Vishnu devotees

Triplicane – A locality in Chennai which has the ancient Temple dedicated to Shri Maha Vishnu

Chittappa – Tamil way of addressing Father’s brother or Mother’s sister’s Husband

Thata – Tamil way of addressing one’s Grandfather

Panchakacham – Dothi wrapping style which is usually around 8 meters long

Dwarabalaka – guards who guard the doorway to God

Yali is a mythical animal with a body of a lion but with a trunk of elephant

Pandits are those who are knowledgeable

Nadaswaram is an wind instrument with a long tube like structure with a wide flat base opening

Mirudhangam is a percussion instrument

Kolams are decorations that is drawn in front of the house to decorate entrance. It is geometically complex and is drawn with rice powder

Tirumala – Famous temple at Tirupathi

Sastram – The ideal way of life stipulated by ancient people

Agarbathis – Incense stick

Abhisheka is process of bathing the idol at temple

Alankara means dressing up and in this case refers to dressing up of the deity at the temple

Sloka is prayer

Itihasas are stories as told by forefathers of Hindu religion

Puranas are ancient stories, refers to epics which is Ramayana and Mahabharatha

Govinda – Another name for Lord Maha Vishnu

Veda is the holy scriputures of Hindus

Bhajan Ghostis are those people who sign songs about the Lord

Thanks Lakshmi Ramanan for the wonderful story and pictures. All images and content are copy right protected.

yoga champion

15 Minutes with Avanthika, The Young International Yoga Champion 2016

Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline which originated in India. Among the most well-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Raja yoga

An art for the mind, soul and body. A very peaceful art which requires constant dedication and extraordinary skills to master in it .

With the chill morning summer breeze, in Neelankarai beach, Madras Photo Bloggers,MPB interviewed the eight year old Avanthika, a Gold Medal winner in the International Yoga Championship.

She is naughty, witty and hyper but just wait until she is instructed to do an Aasana. ( a yoga posture)

Her way of greeting the waves and her friendly battle with the sand showcases her age but one can rapidly see her personality change when she is told to perform yoga. She sits in padmasana with sheer elegance, maturity and curved happy lips.

She tries to fit herself into her large “Indian Jersey” as she sits with us for a small chat.

1) Yoga is a very seemingly boring task for even a 30 year old. Being a 8 year old, an age of full energy., how did u fall in love with a calm and peaceful art? 

“I started Yoga only because I was highly energetic and flexible”,she says as she bursts out laughing.

“I started learning yoga since my 1st grade and I never find it boring, Indeed I’m very naughty during my class hours. My class is packed with elder people and they deal with me very patiently and never scold me”, she adds on with a blush. “I like yoga because I win in it”, she says with a naughty grin.

2) Competing with students of my class still awakens the butterflies in my stomach. How is that you being an 8 year old took it sportive and face people from around the world with such courage?

“As I entered the auditorium I never felt nervous , Instead, I felt happy that I’m going to challenge unknown people. I was never scared looking at unfamiliar faces challenging me as they can possible do nothing that can scare me”, she says as she starts playing with her hair.

” Avanthika participated along with 150 other participants who belonged to 6 different countries and won Gold medal followed by Singapore”, adds her mom beaming with pride.

3) Who is your guruji and how supportive was he/she in this competition? Who supported u a lot from your family?

“My teacher is Dhanalalshmi ma’am. Maariappan sir took me to the competition. My parents and teachers were super supportive and encouraging”,she says.

4) Wearing the Indian jersey and holding a golden medal in the hand is everyone’s dream and aim. How great does it feel to be achieving at such a young age?

” Romba happy aa irruku”, she says and ends the question. This shows us clearly how much she doesn’t understand her own achievements.

” She won in the state level competition in Coimbatore and won Gold medal followed by Nationals in Kovilpatti where she won Gold medal again and then she attended the international championship in Indonesia where she once more won Gold medal” adds her mother.

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5) Did u feel bad when you didn’t get enough recognition from the press?

“Nobody approached us and we felt very sad. But, who in the present society is paying any attention to vedic art?” Ankita’s sister questions us with frustration.

6)what would you like to grow up and do? Will you take up yoga as passion or as career?

“Yoga will be my forever mate but not my profession” she says as she hops and runs away chasing crabs.
Team MPB is very happy to interview such a young talent.

Interview by Jaya Roshini 

Photos by Kirbaakaran