Sunday 13 October 2013

...and the Nobel prize for Literature 2013 goes to Alice Munro!!!!!

Douglas Gibson, her longtime editor and publisher remarked that given that Munro had long been suggested as a candidate for the award, he got up early and dressed just in case …

“It was a little bit like Christmas eve I was a little bit like a kid . I couldn‘t sleep, because - would Santa come? And Santa came,” he said!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Award triggered an outpouring of pride in Canada!

Alice must be in wonderland in her eighty second year to be the first Canadian writer to receive the prize of eight million crowns…and the thirteenth female literature laureate in the 112 year history of the Nobel Prizes.

She said that the award will make people see short story as an important art and not just something you played around with until you get a novel written. She admitted that she herself started writing that way.

She developed a distinct style of her own. Her merit in the eyes of her admirers, is the richness of her plot and depth of detail usually more characteristic of novels. Her stories are usually set in Ontario her home province. The characters in her stories are often girls and women with seemingly unexceptional lives, who struggle with tribulations ranging from sexual abuse and stifling marriages to repressed love and ravages of ageing. Her writings have captured the warmth, insight and compassion in the wide range of lives. And no wonder she has been likened to the great nineteenth century Russian short story writer Chekhov! She believes that there are no such things as big and little subjects. The major things, the evils, that exist in the world have a direct relationship to the evil that exists around a dining room table when people are doing things to each other.

The numerous awards to her credit point out to the popularity of her books. It is befitting that the award of awards the Nobel ultimately came her way!

I agree it is “so splendid a thing to happen ,” Madam Alice Munro!

Monday 7 October 2013


The significance of nine colours associated with the nine days of Navratri is interesting.... read on!

Reading the paper “The Hindustan Times”, this colorful article written by Mithila Mehta caught my eye.

The festival of Navratri is one of joy, splendour and colour, as devotees offer their prayers to the manifestation of Goddess Durga in her nine wonderful forms. According to the tradition, it is believed that Goddess Durga has three main forms that of Mahasaraswati, Mahalaxmi and Mahakali- the counterparts of the Holy Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Each of the three forms of Durga gave rise to three more forms, which is how the nine manifestations of the Goddess came into being.

Every manifestation of Durga has a special day and colour dedicated to her.

Day 1:Pratipada: On the first day of Navratri, Goddess Durga is worshipped as Shailputri, the daughter of the mountains, the great Himalayas and a form of shakti. Shailputri’s vehicle is the bull named Nandi. She holds a spear in her hand which is symbolic of fulfilment of all desires of the heart. Many believe that it is customary to wear grey on this day.

Day2:Dwitya: On the second day of Navratri, Goddess Durga takes the form of Brahmacharini, the one who practices devout austerity in search of absolute knowledge. Brahamcharini holds rosemary and kamandale(an oblong water pot). She is known to grant eternal prosperity and emancipation. Devotees wear orange on this day.

Day3: Tritiya: On this day, Goddess Durga is worshipped as Chandraghanta, the goddess of beauty and bravery. She is called Chandraghanta because of Chandra meaning half moon on her forehead. She represents valour and the strength to fight evil. It’s the day for white.

Day4:Chaturthi: This day is dedicated to Kushmanda, the creator. It is believed that Kushmanda created and sustains the universe through her own life blood. Symbolically she holds two pots containing life blood in her lotus hands, along with other symbols of life and creation. It is customary to wear red on this day.

Day5:Panchami: Durga takes the form of Skanda Mata on this day, eternally seated on a throne, her arms adorned with lotus flowers. She holds the infant Skand(Lord Kartikeya ) in her arms, who is believed to have single handedly led the army of Gods to victory against the demons. Devotees wear blue on this day in her honour.

Day6:Shashti: On this day the Goddess is worshipped as Katyayani. It is believed that the respected sage Kata performed severe penance to impress the Gods and was granted a daughter as a boon. The powerful Goddess rides a magnificent lion and carries a sword in her hands. The colour of the day is yellow.

Day7:Saptami: this day is dedicated to the dark-complexioned Kalratri, discarding her erstwhile golden outer sheath. With her disheveled hair and aggressive stance, Kalratri assures protection and freedom from fear. Day to wear green.

Day8:Ashtami: The Goddess takes on the form of Maha Gauri on this day. Dressed in spotless white clothes, the beautiful Goddess is a symbol of purity. It is believed that worshipping Maha Gauri cleanses away all sins. The colour of the day is peacock green.

Day9:Naumi: On the final day of navratri, Goddess Durga takes on the form of Siddhidaatri. She is believed to embody the strength of all previous eight forms of Ma Durga. Lord Shiva worshipped her and was granted her blessings. Devotees wear purple on this day.

I for one is planning to wrap myself in the auspicious hue marked for each day as a salutation to Maa Durga!
JAI MATA DI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!