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Day 57: Manjadikuru (The Little Red Seeds)

Do you guys know about Manjadikuru ? They are the little red seeds. For anyone who is from God's own country or is familiar with Kerala wouldn't have missed this. There is something special about holding them, playing with these seeds. Usually, most homes will have a small 'uruli' or a bowl filled with these beautiful and shiny red seeds. In most Krishna temples in Kerala, you will come across a small 'uruli' with Manjadikuru. People believe that it is lucky to take these seeds with both hands and just play with them when you visit a temple. Some even leave a couple of coins as they do this.  In Guruvayoor (my favorite place), you can see a big 'uruli' with manjadi. 

So, why and how did this become prevalent ? It goes back to a story from the past. Many years ago, there lived a poor lady in northern Kerala. She was an ardent devotee of Lord Guruvayoorappan (Krishna) and always wanted to visit Guruvayoor.  She could not afford to buy any offering (nived…

Day 307: Happy Chingam !

Today is Chingam 1 (to be read as onnu). It is the new month according to the lunisolar calendar. This month is also called as Avani and Shravana. So, why is this month special?  This month marks the beginning of the festival season back home and the it is fun to have small celebrations through the months until  mid- December. It is also the month of Onam (Harvest festival in Kerala).

The first festival we have this month is the 'sacred thread' changing ceremony for men/boys who wear that. This is followed by usually the birthday of little Krishna and then the elephant-head god, Ganesha. Then comes Onam followed by the beautiful month of Navaratri or Durga Pooja. So, the big set of festival season is here and here is a wish to all of you on Chingam 1. Wishing you all blessed and excellent months ahead. Have fun!

Day 306: Most beautiful things in this world

"What are the most beautiful things in this world?", asked a little child.
"Ah! well, the list is long, really very long." , said I,  Do you have the patience to listen and hold on? "Yes, I do", said she.  I smiled,  "I will first tell you all that I have been told,  and then will narrate all that I uphold."

Listen, oh, little girl,  I was told it was in places to go by a long way,  Like the light blue shores in the Caribbean isles,  and the beautiful Icelandic summer nights.  It was also in the streets of Tokyo,  and the serene charm of Canadian winter snow.  Some said it was the street food in Bangkok,  and yet others claimed that it was the chaat masalas of India.  The haute couture in Milan fashion show,  or for a few, the royal palaces of big Europe.  I was confused just like you, for,
all these are places afar very distant from my present home .
But what if I wanted to enjoy a few beautiful things,
should I go this far or are they just wi…