Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Goddess Durga

~Durga Puja  ~ 

O Mother !!You are  present everywhere , 
You are the embodiment of power & energy !
I bow to you !! I bow to you!! I bow to you!! 

The Goddess of power and strength , Durga 
commonly known as Durga maa or Mother Durga
 is the most important Goddess of Hindus . With a 
multidimensional persona she is the destroyer of 
evil and  carries a trident to slay down the demons.
 A nine day long festival called Navratri 
(or nine nights ) is celebrated twice a year to celebrate
 her nine divine qualities of strength, transformation, 
anger, beauty, compassion fear and power in various
 avatars (or incarnations). Sitting astride a lion, it is 
believed that the multi limbed Goddess battles
 the forces of evil  and makes the world a better place.  

Durga - The Mother Goddess  !!! 

Brown bread, Orange, Red bell pepper, guava, 
beans, babycorn,  olive, crispy snack-boondi, berries   

The auspicious festival of Durga Puja is an annual five day 
celebration to pay homage to the Goddess. Indians all 
over the world  decorate their houses and cook traditional
 meals and desserts  as it is believed that mother Durga visits 
her earthly abode during this time. 

Idols in temples and homes are  
decorated with beautiful flowers .  Orange
 stemmed night jasmine flowers called harsingar, 
shuili or parijat in local dialect bloom profusely during 
this season and are greatly used along with red
 hibiscus  for worshipping. With a nip of chill in the
 air and the advent of winters a lot of seasonal food stuffs 
start lining the local markets and Nolen Gur or Date 
Jaggery is one of those winter delights, a natural 
sweetener it is a power packed with health benefits. 
Nolen Gur Payesh aka rice pudding is speciality of this 
festival. This Bengali dessert is super easy to 
make and is perfect to add zing to your Navratra
 & pujo offering . 

Nolen Gur Payesh 
(Rice pudding with date palm jaggery)

Ingredients - 
1.5 l full cream milk 
1/2 cup Gobind bhog rice (or basmati rice)
200gms nolen gur 
1 bay leaf 
3-4 cardamom coarsely pounded 
2 tbsp  chopped nuts (cashew, almond, chironji)
1 tbsp ghee 

1. Soak the rice for half hour. 
2. Grate the gur using a grater and keep aside. 
3.Heat ghee in a pan and lightly fry the nuts till golden. 
Strain n keep aside. 
4.In the remaining ghee add bay leaf , drain water
 from rice, add and lightly roast for a min . 
5. Add in milk and simmer for half an hour , keep stirring
 occasionally so that it does not burn. 
6. Once the milk has reduced to half , check a grain of rice ,
 once softened turn off the flame .
7. Add in cardamon, grated nolen gur & half 
of the fried nuts & stir well to dissolve the jaggery .
8. Pour in a bowl , garnish with nuts & 
serve warm (Or refrigerate to serve chilled ). 

 This year Durga Puja began on Monday, October 11
 (Maha Shasthi) and will end on Friday, October 15. 
The Devi has time and again been visualised in different 
forms, yet the Puranas speak of her as a formless 
supreme power. 

Wishing everybody a safe and 
happy Durga Puja, May the spirit of peace and
 brotherhood prevail. 

Saturday, October 2, 2021



~Ode to Gandhi ~ 

The greatness of humanity is not in being 
human , but in being humane"

October 2nd is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti to 
commemorate the birthday of  Mahatma Gandhi -
the  civil rights activist who by his ardent philosophy 
of non violence , harmony and communal service 
set an example for others to walk on the path of 
non violence and passive resistance for the benefit
of oneself and humanity. 

Father of the Nation  !!! 

Mishti Doi (Jaggery sweetened yogurt) 
with banana spectacles and apple moustache   

Revered in India as Father of the Nation aka Bapu , 
Mahatma Gandhi is undoubtedly one of the most 
recognisable  leader worldwide. His ideologies have
 been ardently followed by Nelson Mandela , Martin
 Luther King Jr , PM Modi and several other 
great leaders. In 2007 UN declared, 2nd Oct to be 
observed as International Day of Non -Violence. 
Gandhi's image is an integral part of Indian 
currency and several Indian stamps . 

On the joyous occasion may the spirit of 
truth and peace prevail everywhere. Amen. 


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