Posts

Showing posts from July, 2012

The Ashtamangalyam set

Image
The 8 auspicious objects


We have moved around a lot and the mini Ashtamangalyam set has been with us since ages, traveling through the continents. The other day Annu who saw it asked us what the significance of the set was. Assuming that they were the usual implements for a Pooja, I stated so. I am sure Annu would have figured out that it had to do with sacred or auspicious items being a Sanskrit student, due to the word mangalyam. But it is or shall we say was common in Kerala Nair houses for many years and still remains a popular item, adorning many a living room and forming part of the curio array, so there must have been some deeper significance, right? I decided to dig deeper into the topic to get to the details. I cannot say I was successful, but came to some conclusions anyway, which are detailed here for those interested , or those who want to spend a few minutes reading up something that may present some amount of nostalgia….

The Ashta mangalyam set has eight objects on a tra…

Fans and Punkhas…

Image
A sweltering heat wave is on around Eastern USA and we are all baking in three digit heat though it just might cool off next week. The AC’s and the fans at home are on, and it is bearable inside, but outside, well, the grass is burnt and the heat continues on well into the night. Once in a way we have thunderstorms…but then the humidity goes up. And well, then thoughts like this will come and I drifted off thinking about fans and Punkhas…..

I don’t think anybody from India would ever forget this contraption that is so much part of their life, for it has been there since time immemorial in some version of the other. It could start with the very young days when you were nodding off with your head in your mother’s lap, and her fondly fanning you to sleep, with the hand fan, it could be the noisy white fan in your home which ingrains itself into your psyche so much that you cannot sleep without the air cutting noise (like me) or for some the swoosh of air over their faces is a must before…