Friday, November 17, 2017

Celebration of Karthika Masam Vanabhojanam and November Birthdays – 2017.

The Telugu lunar month of Karthika Masam is considered very auspicious; it starts a day after the major festival of Deepavali. A popular ritual practiced in this month is ‘Vanabhojanalu’ literally meaning having food in gardens. Most families in Telugu speaking States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh; as a group of relatives or as members of a large association go on picnics in this month and spend the whole day in a garden or in the wilderness, under trees. They have a good time chitchatting, playing games, loitering around and enjoying foods most liked by them.
While my father was working in Singareni Collieries at Kothagudem, persons of our community used to organize ‘Karthika Vana Samaradhana’ on a large scale in our 5-acre mango garden. There used to be a puja to the Amla tree, lots of entertainment and rich foods for close to 150 people. This tradition continued for over 15 years until my father retired from service and sold the garden before shifting back to Secunderabad. This experience and the pleasure we derived from such daylong picnics has kept the tradition of Vanabhojanalu going on in our family. Mango gardens and farmhouses owned by friends or resorts around the city of Hyderabad help us in this celebration.
This year’s Karthika Masam commenced on 20th October 2017and will be ending day after tomorrow on 18th November. So on a recent Sunday we went out for Vanabhojanalu with the families of my siblings and my wife’s siblings, as usual. The venue was a huge Mango Garden owned by my friend and located 60 km away from our house in a very serene and lovely place.  Of course there were other trees like Amla and huge Tamarind and Neem trees. It was a potluck party with all families participating in it and with additional contribution from my friend, the owner of the Mango garden. Everyone enjoyed the picnic in that calm and lovely environment with lots of games in the open and under the trees, with good food and a group-birthdays celebration.
When Karthika Masam coincides with major part of November month; we also celebrate birthdays of nine family members (including mine) born in November, during this daylong Vanabhojanala function.
The attached pictures are of this year’s Vanabhojanam and Birthday celebrations.
May GOD’s blessings and your good wishes be with our families forever.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thank you for all the people who remembered me today, my birthday.

Today, 16th November is my birthday. The day passed off happily for me with birthday wishes coming from family, friends and other people known to me and a birthday party in the evening followed by a sumptuous family dinner. The attached pictures would say it all.
A part of the dinner menu was prepared at home and some ordered from Nanking Restaurant, Secunderabad city’s popular Chinese Restaurant. In the afternoon I spent sometime in the kitchen to bake my Birthday Cake. I made a Date and Walnut Cake and as its tempting smell filled the house the family was appreciative and anxiously waited for tasting it in the evening. It was really delicious and everyone liked it.
I love making cakes and feel very happy when people appreciate my creations. There's nothing quite like sharing generous slices of mouthwatering homemade cake with family and friends. In making a cake you are taking advantage of some magical scientific transformations to create something sugary, delicate and delicious that everyone will love – and love you for.
I wish to thank GOD, for a very happy birthday and his blessings, and thank my family and friends who have wished me all the best for today and the future.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I am 131 years old but young forever! Who Am I?

Through these three riddles let us see whether you can guess the answer to this article’s title:
I’m made of metal and plastic but I’m not a food blender,
I get pressed down on but I’m not a button,
I might be found on a desk but I’m not a stapler,
I cut out circles but I’m not a pair of scissors,
I have paper put in me but I’m not a binder,
I have been with your family for more than a generation!
I am 131 years old but young forever!
Who or What Am I?
* * *
My name sounds as though I like to fight,
But you will actually find I’m kinder,
Because I help with your paperwork,
By ensuring it goes in a binder!
* * *
If you need to file away paper,
Then this item will help you a whole bunch,
As it will make circles in each page,
So it fits in binders – it’s a  _ _ _ _     _ _ _ _ _ _ _!
* * *
I am sure you have guessed correct. It was today, that Google Doodle educated me about this great invention.
Today, thanks to Google we celebrate 131 years of the HOLE PUNCHER, an understated, but essential – artifact of German engineering. As modern workplaces trek further into the digital frontier, this centuries old tool remains largely, wonderfully the same.  
On this occasion, it is good to learn about this great invention. The first patent for a Hole Puncher, or Papierlocher für Sammelmappen (paper hole maker for binding) was filed on 14th November 1886 by inventor Friedrich Soennecken. Mr Soennecken was a German office supplier from the town of Remscheid who founded his own company, F Soennecken Verlag, in 1875. His wares quickly became renowned for their quality, and his paper and pens were a favourite of German philosopher Freidrich Neitzsche, the man who coined the phrase: "What does not kill me makes me stronger". As well as inventing the Hole Puncher, Mr Soennecken created the ring binder to store the freshly punched sheets and a style of calligraphy designed to be neat yet standardised and easy to learn.
The Hole Puncher's design has not changed much in the 131 years since its invention, which means it was a perfect design from the beginning!
Three Cheers to the inventor and his invention that has served several generations at their houses and offices and continues to do so!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Difference amid;
And refusal,
Is so sad,
To this child,
And amusing to all!
As of now,
And as he grows up,
May all his realistic wishes;
And dreams,
Come true, to keep him always happy,
And those around him and his family happy.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Karthika Pournami Greetings!

Today is the holy day of Karthika Pournami. Karthika Masam is the name of the current Lunar month and today is Pournami that is Full Moon Day and hence the day is called Karthika Pournami. Today is also called as Karthika Punnami and Karthika Poornima / Purnima. It is a holy celebration to both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. It is the day on which Lord Shiva killed Tripurasura a demon king and protected the world. With boons from Lord Ganesha, Tripurasura became indestructible, grew into an evil force and defeated all the kings of Earth and the Gods in Heaven. According to Lord Ganesha’s boon, Tripurasura could be killed only by Lord Shiva. After witnessing the evil deeds and destruction unleashed by Tripurasura, Lord Ganesha approached Tripurasura in the guise of a Brahmin with a plan to eliminate him.  The Brahmin displayed 64 arts to the demon king, and pleased with the Brahmin; Tripurasura offered to grant him any wish he made. The Brahmin asked for the Idol of Chinthamani which is with Lord Shiva. As Lord Shiva refused to part with the Idol, a war took place between Lord Shiva and Tripurasura. The Chariot that Lord Shiva rode in this war is described as Prithvi (Earth) with the Sun and Moon as its wheels and the bow as Meru (the huge mountain) and Lord Vishnu as the arrow. This single arrow from Lord Shiva destroyed all the materialistic boons that Lord Ganesha had offered to Tripurasura in the form of palaces and vimanams (aeroplanes). The speed and force of the arrow caused heavy lightening which made Tripurasura faint and ultimately brought about his end.
People in very large numbers bathe in the holy rivers of the country today. They visit Temples and offer prayers. ‘Abhishekam’ is performed to Lord Shiva. As such, Karthika Masam that is the entire month of Karthikam is considered very auspicious. During this entire month and specially today oil lamps are lit at Temples, at holy rivers and houses with hundreds of wicks, sometimes thousands of wicks (‘Karthika Deepa-aradhana’) and in modern days 365 wicks to represent the days of the year. Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi along with all the Gods are said to visit and reside under Amla that is Usiri or Gooseberry trees by the side of Tulasi plants that is Basil plants, in this month. Hence a lot of prominence is given to these plants, prayers are offered to the plants on this day and in this month, and picnics are organized outdoors, preferably under Amla trees. These rituals are called Vana Mahotsavam or Vanabhojanalu. All these actions are considered very beneficial, they are said to liberate us from all sins and bless us with good health, wealth, prosperity, success, longevity and fulfillment of all wishes.
May all the Gods and Goddesses bless you on this most auspicious day of the year.
The photographs above this article are of our Karthika Pournami festivities today. Apart from observing the regular rituals of Karthika Pournami we also performed Sri Sathyanarayana Swamy Vratham (Puja) today, as today is the most auspicious day for performing this most significant and beneficial Vratham.
The photographs below are from some of our earlier Karthika Pournami festivities. Apart from conveying our greetings to you on this festival day, the purpose of this blog and photographs is to preserve the knowledge and practices of our rich and happy culture.

Celebration of Karthika Masam Vanabhojanam and November Birthdays – 2017.

The Telugu lunar month of Karthika Masam is considered very auspicious; it starts a day after the major festival of Deepa...