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5th Delhi Literature Festival to start from February 10 at Delhi Haat

The event is supposed to host famous authors like Ashok vajpeyi, Tasleema Nasreen and William Dalrymple along with a panel discussion on 'Demonitization: Intent, Implementation and Impact'

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Delhi Literature Festival
A gathering at 5th Delhi Literature Festival (representational image), Wikimedia

New Delhi, February 4:  The fifth edition of DelhiLiterature Festival is all set to start from February 10. The event is supposed to host a number of dignified speakers including famous authors like Ashok Vajpeyi, William Dalrymple and Taslima Nasreen among others.

The three-day-festival will inaugurate with a session by Swapna Liddle, author of “Chandni Chowk: The Mughal City of Old Delhi” where she will dive deeper into the different facets and prospects of the old walled metropolis, mentions PTI

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The launch of “Dream Nation: Dear Kalam Sir”, a biography of former President A P J Abdul Kalamwritten by Raghav Chandra is scheduled to take place on the opening day. There will also be a panel discussion on ‘Demonitization: Intent, Implementation and Impact’ that will see author Vinay Bharat-Ram and economist Surjit S Bhalla in an interesting conversation on the controversial issue.

A session on relevance of public libraries will attempt to revive interest in such institutions across India for a generation of e-books and online magazines.

Conducted by Indian Public Library movement and backed by NASSCOMFoundation, this initiative will have activist-author Kamla Bhasin, human rights campaigner Shabnam Hashmi, theatre academic Tripurari Sharma on the discussion panel.

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“A discussion focused on Air Pollution in the City, titled ‘Choked Capital’ by a panel of experts from Swachh Bharatand the Urban Development Ministry will also be held,” organisers informed PTI

Scottish historian and writer William Dalrymple will be talking about his latest book “Kohinoor: The Story of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond” which he has co-authored with Anita Anand in the course of the festival.

A Dastangoi performance which is the ancient art of Urdu storytelling by Ankit Chaddha, one of the last twelve Dastangos in the country, is also on the line up among many other exciting events.

A Hindi poetry session by Ashok Chakradhar and ‘Branding for Make in India’ by Niti Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant will also be a part of the three-day run of the festival.

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Other speakers and guests who will grace the festival with their presence and active participation in conversations include Tarek Fatah, Ravinder Singh and Ira Trivedi.

The event is set to wrap up on Feb 12.

 

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Celebrate this Ganesh Chaturthi with Over Loaded Zeal and Vigor at Delhi Haat

Most awaited 10-days long Ganesh Utsav has started today. Enjoy a wide variety of Modak during this Ganesh Chaturthi.

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Lord Ganesha's idol on Ganesh Chaturthi
Lord Ganesha's idol on Ganesh Chaturthi. Wikimedia.
  • Time to welcome Lord Ganesha in our homes has arrived.
  • Celebrate this Ganesh Chaturthi with lots and lots of Modaks.
  • Visit Delhi Haat, INA to enjoy this Ganesh Chaturthi with pomp and gaiety.

New Delhi, August 25, 2017: Celebrate this Ganesh Chaturthi with over loaded zeal and vigor at Delhi Haat, INA, as Delhi Tourism in collaboration with M/S Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti is organizing the year’s most awaited 10-days long Ganesh Utsav here, from August 25 to September 4, 2017.

Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as Ganesha Utsav or Vinayak Chaturthi. Lord Ganesha is considered as the lord of prosperity. He is considered as the one removes all the obstacles and brings in the fortune.

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most sacred and auspicious festivals in Indian culture. This fervor festival commences on the birth anniversary of elephant god of India during the Bhadrapada month of Hindu calendar. It is commemorated by installing Lord Ganesha’s idol at homes or public pandals.

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations
A pandal for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Pixabay

With high festive spirits in their heart, people embellish pandals with colorful flowers and dazzling lights. The music system is also installed to play bhajans and aartis. A traditional ambiance is created by devotees in the pandal.

During the 10-days long Ganesha Utsav, morning and evening prayers are offered to the deity. Vedic hymns and Hindu texts are chanted. The Indian sweet dumpling also called modak, is what everybody waits for. It is the main attraction of this festive season. It is considered as the Lord Ganesha’s favorite sweet. After offering the modak to Lord Ganesha, it is distributed among the people as prasadam. At various places, Langars(community meal) is also organized for the devotees. Others sweets and savories such as karanji, Kheer, Puran Polis etc., also adds more sweetness in this festive season.

Lord Ganesha's favourite sweet "MODAK"
Lord Ganesha’s favorite sweet “MODAK”. Wikimedia

Various pandals, also set up tableaux (jhanki) of Lord Ganesha. These tableaux represent some events from the Lord Ganesha’s life. At some places, children and even adults dress up in Lord Ganesha costume to become a part of these tableaux.

At Delhi Haat, INA, a temporary pandal for Lord Ganesha has been setup. Morning and evening prayers are also performed. You can also enjoy the other events in Delhi Haat, INA. Every evening during this festive season, Delhi Haat, INA, will organize cultural shows and performances by the artists of various genres.

“Delhi Haat offers tantalizing glimpses of the vast storehouse of the Indian Culture by holding regional festivals at its open air theatre”, mentioned Delhi Tourism report.

This is a great place to tempt your taste buds with all sorts of dishes. You can relish yourself with these wide variety food stalls in Delhi Haat.

Do visit Delhi Haat, INA to enjoy this Ganesh Chaturthi to the fullest.

How to reach Delhi Haat, INA:
Address: Delhi Haat, West Kidwai Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110023                               Nearest Metro station: INA                                                                                       Click on this link to get the exact location on Google maps.

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Delhi+Haat/@28.550589,77.1548241,11.43z/data=!4m8!1m2!2m1!1sdelhi+haat,+INA,SOUTH+DELHI!3m4!1s0x390ce263a7a30d5b:0x32405cf05342652b!8m2!3d28.572745!4d77.2090213

prepared by Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter @cshivani31

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393