Hindu Mommy

October 28, 2006

Another child prodigy – Aditya Pathak – tabla maestro

Filed under: India,Kids — hindumommy @ 1:50 pm

A couple of months ago, I had posted about Kathiresh a 4 year old who can drive a car in India (a feat which I don’t think I am capable of 🙂 )

Well, here’s another child prodigy brought to you courtesy of YouTube

2 1/2 year old Aditya Pathak – tabla pandit

Absolutely amazing ! I found myself clapping at the end of the video

Guess it goes to show that children are like sponges, ready to absorb anything as long as the parents have the patience and the will to teach them

October 25, 2006

“No more domestic abuse” – Indian government

Filed under: India,Women — hindumommy @ 11:10 pm

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 comes into effect Thursday in India.

According to estimates, about 70% of women in India were victims of domestic abuse in some form

Under this law, domestic violence offenders can be jailed for a maximum of one year or fined up to Rs 20,000, or both.

The new law provides an all-encompassing definition of domestic violence  including not only physical violence by the husband, such as beating or physically hurting his wife, or sexual violence like forced intercourse, but also verbal or emotional violence such as insulting the wife or preventing her from taking up a job, and even economic violence such as not allowing the wife to use her salary.

While I commend the government’s intentions with both this law and the law to prevent child labor, I wonder about how the government is going to make it work?. Does the government have the necessary power and will to implement and maintain these laws ? Or is this just lip-service to be made effective and then forgotten or wilfully disobeyed like most other laws in India?

Only time will tell……

For more details, read the articles in Times of India and The Hindu

Do we need to start paying couples to marry in order to save Hinduism?

Filed under: Hinduism,India — hindumommy @ 10:53 pm

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam(TTD) has decided to help save Hinduism by paying money to marry couples.

According to this report in the Hindustan Times dated October 21st,

Mass marriages of poor couples will be solemnised at the TTD Kalyana Mandapams from Feb 22,2007 in an attempt to save Hinduism and prevent poor Hindus from converting to other religions

The temple will give each bride a one-gram-gold mangalasutram as the Lord’s blessing, bear expenses up to Rs 3,000 and feed 20 guests of each couple. Holding 1 lakh marriages is likely to cost the temple a whopping Rs 40 crore per year, but its authorities are fine with it.

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OK, maybe… just maybe ….I am missing something here but why is everyone so desperate to get couples married ?

First the Indian Government by suggesting a financial incentive of $1,100 for inter-racial marriages and now the TTD

Also, I may be naive and idealistic in this regard but are we really so desperate to save Hinduism that we have to start bribing people to get married?

I know that there are going to be people who will tell me to get real and say that there are lots of incidents where Christian preachers have converted people of lower Hindu castes to Christianity by promising a better life and we as Hindus are doing nothing wrong by paying for their marriage – to which I say “Just because we do what the other folks are doing, doesn’t make it right !”

Hinduism has a long history of being the most tolerant religion in the world and never having forced conversions. Hinduism definitely doesn’t need any saving. What it needs is people who are proud to be Hindus – proud of their heritage and religion without being fanatics.

What Hinduism needs is for more people, including Hindus themselves to understand their religion more and be proud of it’s uniqueness and diversity.

If the TTD truly wants to help save Hinduism then it should use the Rs 40 crores (and even more if necessary) to improve the skills of these lower caste poor people to teach them to be self sufficient and have a better standard of living.

Why Newton went crazy..:)

Filed under: Funny,India — hindumommy @ 2:17 pm

 I got this in an email that has been doing the rounds …..

Once Newton came to India and watched a few Indian movies.

Here are a few scenes from the Rajanikanth movies he watches

1) Rajanikanth has a Brain Tumor which, according to the doctors can’t be cured and his death is imminent. In one of the fights, our great Rajanikanth is shot in the head. To everybody’s surprise, the bullet passes through his ears taking away the tumor along with it and he is cured!
Long Live Rajanikanth! 🙂

2) In another movie, Rajanikanth is confronted with 3 gangsters. Rajanikanth has a gun but unfortunately only one bullet and a knife. Guess, what he does? He throws the knife at the middle gangster and shoots
the bullet towards the knife. The knife cuts the bullet into 2 pieces, which kills both the gangsters on each side of the middle gangster and the knife kills the middle one.

3) Rajanikanth is chased by a gangster.. Rajanikanth has a revolver but no bullets in it. Guess what he does.

Nah? Not even in your remotest imaginations.

He waits for the gangster to shoot. As soon as the gangster shoots, Rajanikanth opens the bullet compartment of his revolver and catches the bullet. Then, he closes the bullet compartment and fires his gun….Bang…..the gangster dies…

This was too much for Newton to take! He was completely shaken and decided to go back. But he happened to see another movie for one last time, and thought that at least one movie would follow his theory of physics.
The whole movie goes fine and Newton is happy that all in the world hasn’t
changed.

Oops, not so fast!

The climax scene finally arrives.

Rajanikanth gets to know that the villain is on the other side of a very high wall. So high that Rajanikanth can’t jump even if he tries like one of those superman techniques that our heroes normally use.
Rajanikanth has to desperately kill the villain because it’s the climax.

(Newton is smiling since it is virtually impossible?)

Rajanikanth suddenly pulls two guns from his pockets. He throws one gun in the air and when the gun has reached above the height of the wall, he uses the second gun and shoots at the trigger of the first gun in air.The first gun fires off and the villain is dead.

Newton’s head started spinning.He was convinced that all his logic and laws in physics were just a huge pile of junk and apologized for everything he had done. Newton went crazy. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

October 23, 2006

And the winner is……

Filed under: Festivals — hindumommy @ 6:16 am

I’m sure you are waiting with bated breath ….;) 🙂

 1st Prize : Swaralu

2nd Prize : LotusReads

Selection of winners was done by the extremely scientific process of having each of my girls pick a name written on a folded piece of paper 🙂

Congratulations Swaralu and LotusReads. I’ll be in touch with you via email. 

Thanks for participating folks !

Hope you had a great Diwali celebration and wishing you a prosperous New Year

October 20, 2006

Diwali celebrations – Meenal Pandya

Filed under: Festivals — hindumommy @ 10:14 pm

A few years ago, I found that Diwali celebrations in the community we live in, were becoming too much of an adult affair, filled with dinner and gupsup, leaving out the children. To create pleasant memories for my young daughters, we tried a special way to celebrate Diwali at our home, a tradition that lasted for about a decade. Now, I am happy to see that it has become a hallmark of Diwali celebrations in many places in the community.

We called it an Open-House Diwali to mimic the Diwali I remembered from my childhood where guests whizzed in and out of our house through out the day. Every year, we would pick the Saturday closest to the Diwali day and hold an open house from 2 pm onwards. We schedule every hour with an activity that children can enjoy and is associated with Diwali. In the invitation that we send out a few weeks before the open house, we would list all the activities so guests knew ahead of time and can pick and chose what part of the open house to participate in. Typically we included rangoli making on wood planks that can be taken home once done, clay pot Diya decorating, candle making, henna design etc. We would provide all the material needed so guests did not have to worry about bringing anything. For first two hours, we would schedule activities that required creativity and ice breaking with other guests while Diwali music played in the background. These activities usually followed a sit-down and calm-down kind of activity that often included story telling or talking about Diwali or playing antakshari. The highlight of the day was aarti and dinner, which is when more adults joined us.

Guests chose to come and go as they pleased and decided to participate in the activity that appealed to their children’s mood and style. We suggested each guest to bring a traditional diwali dish made in their homes to share with others and to bring a few copies of that recipe so that who ever enjoyed the dish can take the recipe along for future use. The evening would end with light music.

During next ten years, we improvised on this basic theme of Diwali celebrations in which we started including simple recipes cooked by kids, a huge “community- rangoli” where any one can sit down, fill in some colors and move on, unannounced dress contest where the best dressed person got a special prize etc.

Though this Diwali open house started as a small gathering of close friends in our home, soon the word spread and we were delighted to see it grow exponentially where we had to rent a hall. The best part was that many people came forward to not only join but to help it make a success and my children still have fond memories of those diwali days.

Happy Diwali to all!

A big Dhanyavaad to our Diwali Dhamaka sponsor

Filed under: Festivals — hindumommy @ 4:11 pm

Meenal Pandya the author of several Indian and children’s books has kindly sponsored this year’s Diwali Dhamaka.

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Some of her books are

Here Comes Diwali ! The Festival Of Lights

Pick a Pretty Indian Name For Your Baby

Vivah : Design a Perfect Hindu Wedding

Here Comes Holi, The Festival Of Colors

Soor Suman : Traditional Gujarati Wedding Songs

The Indian Parenting Book  

For more information, please visit her website at MeeRa Publications (Bringing You Closer to your culture – every day!)

Thank you Meenal Pandya-ji !

More economic growth in India = more gifts for kids

Filed under: Festivals,Hinduism,India — hindumommy @ 12:58 pm

Indian children are reaping the benefits of economic growth – especially those who are born to the country’s fast-growing middle classes.

It is estimated that about 200 million people now make up the middle classes in India.

Indian parents are feeling far more generous and want to spend more of their rising salaries on their kids.

Spending has become fashionable and is driving up sales at kids’ stores across the country. The children’s market is expected to grow by as much as 35% a year.

This is according to an article in the BBC News – “Diwali splurge reflects economic boom

I am sure most of the kids are excited about the extra gifts they shall receive this year and have already given their parents a huge list of exactly what they want for Diwali.

Getting gifts and presents is an important part of any festive tradition and the most eagerly anticipated part for all kids…..but isn’t Diwali more than just getting gifts?

According the same article children are fast becoming the influencers in an Indian family and  the Indian child is fast becoming the decision-maker in terms of purchasing in Indian families.

Let’s influence our kids to use their purchasing power for gifts for kids not as privileged as them. Especially in India, the disparity between the middle class and the bottom class is huge and seems to be growing bigger and bigger

Let’s teach our kids not just receiving but also sharing and giving so they truly understand what Diwali is all about.

October 19, 2006

Besan Laddoos (Diwali sweets)

Filed under: Festivals,Recipes — hindumommy @ 10:44 pm

 Ingredients:

2 cups gram flour (besan)
11/2 cup sugar
2 sticks on unsalted butter (ghee)
1tsp each almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts (chopped)

Method:

* In a vessel mix gram flour and ghee over low heat.
* Keep stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
* After about 20 minutes, remove from the heat and allow it to cool
* Cool thoroughly. Wait atleast 15 mins before proceeding to the next step
*Add sugar and nuts and mix thoroughly. 
* Form ping-pong size balls.
* Laddus are ready to be served.
Yummy in your tummy ! 🙂

How to make panchamrit (nectar of the gods)

Filed under: Festivals — hindumommy @ 10:36 pm

Panchamrit (panch – meaning 5 and amrit meaning nectar) is a necesary part of all devotional pujas.

It can be made with  milk, yoghurt, honey, sugar and ghee.

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