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Colaba Ganapati @ Millburn NJ

pics of Colaba Ganapati @ Millburn by Arun Shanbhag

Friday Ratri Puja and Visarjan Puja Bhatmaam has arrived and drinking hot Kaapi! Friday Danapaar Puja Live streaming of Friday afternoon puja Thursday Ratri Puja Thursday morning Ganesh Chaturthi Puja Here is the live stream of the Colaba Ganapati puja from Millburn, NJ. Ganapati Bapa Morya! Other Ganapati Posts: Ganapati and Gauri Puja Meera at […]

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Lunch & Chanting at Saraswati Vidya Kendra

photos of kindergarten tudents eating lunch at Saraswati Vidya Kendra Kumta by Arun Shanbhag

I have previously written about the mid-day school lunch at the Shanbhag High School and the primary Saraswati Vidya Kendra in Kumta. When I visited Kumta earlier this year, I took a few video snippets of students lining up for lunch and the KG students chanting the blessing. At the Konkan schools, teachers too have […]

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Kini Hotel, Kumta

pics of chai and breakfast at Kini Hotel Kumta by Arun Shanbhag

This tiny tea shop in Kumta is my main eating and meeting place in Kumta. It’s in the main paent (market) and only a few steps from the Shanteri Kamakshi Devasthan and the Venkatraman Muth/Devasthan.

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Kumta Street Vegetables

photos of fresh vegetable vendors on Kumta Street by Arun Shanbhag

In the Kumta market, these women set up shop early in the morning before the crowds got there. Those vegetables look so delicious! It was March, so the variations of brinjals/eggplants were in season. You will also find konkani classics padwal, ghosalae, muLi (radish), tambdi bhaji (red leaves), vaaLi (green creeper leaves), muggae, karate, maskaa […]

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Pālki at the Rāmnāthi Devasthān

photos of Ramnath and Kamakshi in Palki at Ramnathi Devasthan by Arun Shanbhag

Hindus believe that all things animate and in-animate (manifest or unmanifest) are part of the universal divine consciousness. We generally refer to this divine consciousness as “That”, because any attribute you give it is limiting (see Sant Tulsidas’ beautiful verse describing “That” divine consciousness; also this post on Dwija). In common parlance, we refer to […]

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Pyāsā – Soda at Rāmnāthi

Photos of the Soda store owner at the Neeta Canteen by the Ramnathi Devasthan Goa by Arun Shanbhag

During Maha Shivratri, as I waited for a rickshaw outside the Ramnathi Devasthan, I shot pics of colorful soda bottles arrayed in crates. The hovering owner felt neglected and offers, “Maegel bhī photo kād” (take a pic of me too). I obliged. I loved the confident pose he struck in front of the red wall. […]

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MahāShivrātri at Rāmnāthi

Photos of MahaShivaratri Festival at Ramnathi Goa by Arun Shanbhag

|| Om Namah Shivay || Wishing you all an auspicious Maha Shivratri More on the Ramnathi Devasthan Goa: Pālki at the Rāmnāthi Ramnathi Devasthan, A Konkani Temple Goa, Visiting Ramnathi Dassara: Celebrating Devi’s Grace Flower sellers at the Ramnathi Devasthan Buddha’s Tooth, Peter’s Bones and Jesuits Pope’s Hypocrisy Sacred Places: Avalanche of Christian Aid in […]

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Meera at Seva Mandal Ganapati: Worth her weight in … bananas

pictures of Meera on the scales at the GSB Seva Mandal by Arun Shanbhag

In a Hindu tradition called Tolay Bhaar families celebrate life events by offering their weight in fruits to the divine. These fruits are then served to devotees as prasad. At the GSB Seva Mandal Ganapati, this tradition takes on mammoth proportions where 1000’s of devotees offer everything from the more traditional coconuts, bananas or modak/appams […]

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Tambdo Phovu – Red Flattened Rice, v2

Pics how to make Tambdo Phovu poha, red flattened rice by Arun Shanbhag

(During processing these pics, I remembered I had previously written on Making Tambdo Phovu; so, edited the text and added in newer pics.) Phovu (beaten or flattened rice) freshly mixed with few spices is a staple breakfast of Konkanis. We grew up eating tambdo phovu nearly every day (tambdo for red comes from the crushed […]

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Girls making Papad 2

Picture of girls making papad in Kumta, India

A few years back while visiting Kumta I went back to the little shack where I had earlier seen young women making papad (writeup and pics). I was glad to see that this little cinderblock workshop was still active, and women came together to make papad and other eatables to sell in local stores. I […]

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Ganapati at the GSB Muth, Wadala

Ganapati at GSB Wadala by Arun Shanbhag

The GSB Wadala Muth Ganapati holds some of my fondest memories of sarvajanik (public) Ganapati. At 8 ft, it is not the largest of the Ganapatis, but certainly one of the most artistically excuted and ‘constant.’ Even though the artisans craft a new murthy from clay each year, this murthy has not changed one bit […]

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Ganapati at GSB Seva Mandal

pictures of GSB Seva Mandal Ganapati 2011 2012 by Arun Shanbhag

The GSB Seva Mandal is one of the largest Sarvajanik (public) Ganapati celebrations in Mumbai. The murthy is 14 ft tall and all pujas ( devotional services) are performed in Sanskrit following traditions prescribed in ancient scriptures. See pics from our 2009 visit here.

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Video: Making Mysore Masala Dosa

[move your mouse out of the video frame, to lose the black border] Following up on the Video: Making of Rava Dosa and Masala Dosa, here is the next installment of making Mysore Masala. I was surprised they spread a red chilli paste over the dosa, I had thought they sprinkle a spice blended podi […]

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Video: Making Rava Dosa and Masala Dosas

(move your mouse out of the video frame, to lose the black border) Growing up in Mumbai, dosas were a staple in our home. We never tired of them. Could munch dosas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the expert hands of my mother, dosas were easy; its the parathas and North Indian fare she […]

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Dwijā – The Twice Born

In the Vedās, Upanishads, Gita and the Purān, we often encounter the term, Dwijā – twice born (Dwe – two; jā – born). A person is called a Dwijā, after his thread ceremony. What two births are implied here?

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Video: Approaching Kumta on the Konkan Railway

Move your mouse out of the video frame to lose the black border. Music: Mere Desh Ka Salaam, Shobha Gurtu. Those who have ridden the Konkan Railway can attest, the rural countryside with emerald green fields is mesmerizing. I think of an early retirement in a village, a small house and running a school. To […]

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Video: Weaving Jaaii Flowers

During recent travels, I was visiting relatives in Honavar, Karnataka – a sleepy coastal town south of Kumta (see google map below). I had stopped by a family store to add money to my pre-paid cell phone. There, this older gentleman was weaving these delicate pink buds called jaaii-che kaLo. These buds only sprout after […]

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Video: Making Puran Polis

When in Mumbai, we attended a puja at my aunt’s place in Jogeshwari. There we enjoyed a delicious south india lunch, served on banana leaves. Freshly made, warm puran polis, dribbled with home-made tuup (clarified butter), was one of many desserts. The catering crew were making it in the back. Enjoy the video. And see […]

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Śri Rām: The Holy Name

For city bred siblings, summering at our grand parents home in Bhatkal was essential nirvana. In the orchard, we tied strings to dragon flies and watched them fly. We foraged for bird eggs in old trees. With a sling shot, we brought down mangoes – not because our aim was any good, but because the […]

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Fill-up at the Idli House

Mumbai was recently blessed with a eatery dedicated to idlis: those delicately steamed rice cakes. South Indians start their day with idli, dunked in sambar or a liberal side of coconut chutney. At home, I enjoy piping hot Idli Sambar for brunch, or to accompany the afternoon chah or kaapi. Leftover idlis make golden crisp […]

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Bookseller in Goa

With M & m in Mumbai, I stay at work longer, workout harder and run further. With friends, I laze around more; that means less blogging. But I want to share this beautiful pic of a bookseller I met in Goa. We were on our way back to the Ramnathi Devasthan after visiting some Konkani […]