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August

Independence Day

India proudly celebrates its Independence Day or 'Swantrata Divas' on August 15 every year. This is our humble attempt to honor this momentous event.

 

“Freedom is my birth right!”, proclaimed Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. This is a simple but profound truth that is the basis for all human dignity. And Indians undertook an incredible journey just to get this birth right. Here is a quick re-cap of key highlights –

The First War of Indian Independence 1857 (Sepoy Mutiny)

The Non-Cooperation Movement 1920-22

Salt Satyagraha & Dandi March 1930

Quit India Movemnet 1942

Indian Independence 1947

 

Read about some amazing personalities who shaped the Indian struggle for freedom. They dedicated their lives and in many cases even embraced death for the cause. Our homage and respects to these great souls. Natamastak vandan!

 

Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai

Shaeed Bhagat Singh

Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Sarojini Naidu

Maulana Azad

Subhash Chandra Bose

Mahatma Gandhi

Jawaharlal Nehru

Lal Bahadur Shastri

 

Do you know how our beloved Tirangaa came into being? And how did 'Jana Gana Mana' become our National Anthem?

 

Celebrate Independence Day with these special dishes that signify the colors of the Tirangaa!

 

Paneer Tirangaa

Tricolor Tomato Shorba

Stuffed Kesar Jamun

Janmashtami the Story of Krishna

Janmashtami Story of Krishna in Rajasthani style of paintingKing Ugrasena had a son named Kamsa and a daughter named Devaki. Devaki was married to Vasudaev. On the day of their wedding, Kamsa himself was driving his sister's chariot. A heavenly prophecy from the sky came and echoed, "Kamsa! Your end is near! The eighth son of Devaki, your sister, will be the one responsible for your death." Kamsa was enraged beyond control and imprisoned Devaki, his sister and Vasudeva her husband. Then he killed every child of the couple as they were born. But just the midnight when the eighth child was born, the skies roared and Lord Vishnu advised Vasudeva to take the child across the river Yamuna to the other side to the village of Gokul and exchange with the daughter of Yashoda in Gokul, who was born on the same day. Vasudeva accordingly put the child in a basket, and as he went out the doors of the prison parted for him as if in a magic. The river parted into two to allow for Vasudeva to cross. Vasudeva then crossed into Gokul and exchanged his son with the daughter of Yashoda who was born the same day and came back. The baby uttered cries which awakened Kamsa, and then happily he went to the prison chamber and snatched the girl baby and as he lifted her in the air, the baby, who was an incarnation of the Devi herself, laughed in glee "Kamsa, your real enemy is still alive. The son of Devaki is alive and well and will come back to kill you", and then disappeared. Kamsa was outraged beyond wits and started a killing spree of all boys at that age in his kingdom.


Krishna led a very pampered and amorous life in the Gokul, along side thousands of gopikaas, the cowherdesses who were all enthralled at his beauty and were thrilled whenever he played the flute. There are numerous playful instances of Krishna, playing mischief with the gopikaas including breaking their butter pots. Among all the gopikaas, one Radha was special to Krishna. Krishna is also known to be a very mischievous child who annoyed Yashoda a lot. A lot of dohas (poems) described by Mirabai, an ardent devotee of Krishna, are very popular which describe the naughty acts of Krishna. Among them the one titled "Maiya Mori Main nahi makhan khayo" is an all-time favorite. It describes the excuses which Krishna gives to his mother Yashoda explaining that he was not responsible for stealing of the butter from the gopikaas.
Krishna incarnated in this world to eliminate evil elements from this world. There are numerous tales of his bravery since his childhood. Many of the stories are related to the attempts by Kamsa, to kill Krishna after Kamsa came to know that Krishna was in Gokul alive. Some of the tales are given below


As Krishna grew older he left the heavenly Gokul, and the idyllic life alongside Gopis, to go and kill Kamsa. He killed Kamsa, and then settled in Dwaraka along with his brother Balram and learnt the traditional arts of fighting including archery. He arbitrated in the fight between the Pandavas and Kauravas in Mahabharata. During the war he is well known for his monologue to Arjuna on the battlefield, which is together termed as the Bhagvad Gita. There are many stories of Krishna, starting from his childhood to his death including his role in Mahabarata war, his rule over Dwaraka, his childhood acts with gopikaas including Radha, his winning of wives like Satyabhama etc.

Raksha Bandhan

Raksha BandhanRaksha bandhan is a unique festival that celebrates the loving bond between brother and sister. It is celebrated on Sravan (Shravan) Poornima or the full moon in the month of Shravan. Sisters tie silk thread or rakhi on the wrists of their brother. The brother in turn promises to protect and honor his sister. According to Hindu Mythology there was a battle between gods and demons, and Indra (the king of the gods) was defeated by the demons and he was totally shattered. At that time on advice of Guru Brihaspati, (the guru of Devtas) Indra's wife Sachi took a silken thread, popularly known as 'Raksha' and charged it with sacred verses for protection and tied it on Indra's wrist. As a result the strength of the sacred thread helped Indra conquered his enemies. Since then till today this festival is celebrated. It is considered as gesture of goodwill and protection.
It is not necessary that the rakhi be given only to a blood brother; any male can be "adopted" as a brother by tying a rakhi on the person, irrespective of whether he is cousin or a good friend. Indian history is replete with women asking for protection, through rakhi, from men who were neither their brothers, nor Hindus themselves.
The story of Rani Karnavati of Chittor and Mughal Emperor Humayun is the most significant evidence of this in history. During the medieval era, around the 15th century, there were many wars between the Rajputs, Mughals and Sultans. Rakhi at that time meant a spiritual binding and the protection of sisters was foremost. When Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor realised that she could in no way defend the invasion of the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. The Emperor was so touched by the gesture, that he abandoned an ongoing military campaign to ride to her rescue.

This day is also celebrated as “Narali Purnima” or the coconut festival. Fishermen offer a coconut to the sea and pray for bountiful catch. This also marks the end of monsoon in Maharashtra and the beginning of a new season of catch for the fishermen. Desserts made out of coconut are a special attraction of this festival. Here’s a recipe for coconut barfi.