Quotabit 33. Clear Mind (13.09.2014.)
“To be a successful human being
A mind clear from the clouds of all prejudices in relation to
Race, religion, country, social class, literacy, gender, financial status, political belief etc
Is essential. Otherwise,
The mind would not be able to receive the “lights” from “Life”
To enlighten the soul
As the Earth fails to receive the Sunlight properly
If the atmosphere is unclear due to pollution, clouds or fog.”
Valentine's Day (14.02.2013.)
Valentine’s Day is observed on the 14th February each year. It is not a holiday but a special day worldwide.
♥ It is named after Saint Valentine.
♥ It is also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine.
♥ St. Valentine was a priest near Rome in about the year 270 A.D, a time when the church was enduring great persecution.
♥ St Valentine was persecuted as a Christian who had performed clandestine Christian weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. According to legend, in order to “remind them of God’s love and to encourage them to remain faithful Christians”, Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment, giving these to the soldiers and persecuted Christian, a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on Saint Valentine’s Day. He was interrogated by the Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius tried to convert him to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed.
♥ Before his execution, he is reported to have healed his jailer Asterius’ blind daughter Julia. The jailer’s daughter and his forty-four member household (family members and servants) were impressed and had converted to Christianity.
♥ The first “valentine” card would have been written by Valentine himself on the evening before his execution, addressed to Julia, who was no longer blind, signing as “Your Valentine”. This expression “From your Valentine” is still used today.
♥ According to legend, Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near Valentine’s grave. The almond tree still remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship.
♥ February 14 is celebrated as St Valentine’s Day in various Christian denominations. The feast day of Saint Valentine on February 14, however, was removed from the General Roman Calender in the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calender of Saints due to lack of strong evidence that Saint Valentine was buried on the February 14th.
♥ In Ancient Rome, Lupercalia, a festival connected to fertility was observed between 13-15th February during which men and women drew names from a jar to make couples. It has been suggested that modern Valentine’s letters originated from this custom. In reality, this practice originated later in the Middle Ages, with no link to Lupercalia.
♥ The day was first associated with romantic love in Parlement of Foules (1382) written by Geoffrey Chaucer when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
“For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.”
(“For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”)
This poem was written in honour of the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. The marriage-treaty was signed on 2nd May, 1381. They were each only 15 years old when they were married eight months later. Whether there is any link between this teenage marriage and the greater popularity of Valentine’s day amongst the teenagers is not clear. It is amazing that the Valentine’s day is so close to the Saraswati Puja in Hinduism that, by popular culture, is considered as a day for teenage flirting . There is some confusion regarding which date Chaucer was referring to. It could have been 23rd February.
♥ By the 15th century, Valentine’s Day became a popular occasion when lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Several symbols are used today including the heart-shape, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid.
♥ In 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover who could not compose his own.
♥ Printed greeting cards have replaced handwritten valentines since the 19th century.
♥ In the second half of the 20th century, adding gifts such as roses and chocolates packed in a red satin, heart-shaped box along with the cards became popular. Since the 1980s diamond jewelry is also being promoted as a Valentine’s Day gift.
♥ In the UK, just under half of the population send an estimated 25 million cards and spend around 1.3 billion pounds on their valentines.
♥ In the US, an estimated 190 million valentines are sent each year. The figure reaches up to 1 billion when the valentine-exchange cards made in school activities are included.
♥ On the internet, an estimated 15 million e-valentines (e-cards, love coupons or printable greeting cards) were sent in 2010.
♥ The number of SMS sent via the mobiles is still being counted! Even the supercomputer cannot keep pace with the high volumes of SMS sent each microsecond!
♥ The number of calls made via the mobiles and landlines is, however, a secret!
♥ The number of face to face offering of greetings is also confidential!
1. Valentine’s Day, Wikipedia.
2. Valentine’s Day, http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day.
3. Unpublished, secret, classified and confidential data.
Happy Valentine’s Day to everybody!
Durga Puja & Mahalaya (23.09.2014.)
Durga Puja & Mahalaya
“Devipaksha starts with the Mahalaya celebration followed by nine-day maha navratri and Durga Puja celebration.
Mahalaya also marks the end of the ‘Pitri-paksha’. The traditional six day countdown to Mahasaptami starts from Mahalaya. Mahalaya 2014 will be observed on September 23, 2014.
Goddess Durga starts her journey towards earth on the day of Mahalaya, i.e. on the first day of the Devi-Paksha. The first day of Navaratra starts just after the Mahalaya celebration. However, Durga Puja will start from Panchami (29th September) but the puja will be start in pandals from Saptami (1st October).
This year the goddess Durga arrives on a boat and departs on a palanquin Goddess Durga’s arrival on a boat suggests flood and misery while her departure on a palanquin spells wide spread epidemic.
The first day of Sharadiya Navratra or Maha Navratri will be observed on September 25. This year, Maha Navratri will be of eight days as Navmi and Dashmi fall on same day. Ashtami will be observed on October 2nd and Navmi and Vijaya Dashmi or Dussehra will be observed on October 3.”
“Mahalaya in Durga Puja
The Mahalaya can be marked as the auspicious beginning of Durga Puja, the greatest of the festivals in Bengal. Nevertheless, the countdown for festival begins from the Rathayatra when the construction of the Durga idol first begins. From the day of ‘Janmastami’, everyone eagerly awaits Mahalaya. Mahalaya only marks that the preparations for the Durga Puja has reached the final level and everyone starts counting hours for the ceremony to inaugurate. Meaning of Mahalaya is homecoming. According to the Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga who was married to Lord Siva returns to her paternal residence during the Puja, and this is the preparation for the welcome of the diving homecoming.
Mahalaya in Bengal
Mahalaya in Bengal is very special due to three reasons. It is on the dawn of Mahalaya only that the artists, the makers of the Durga idols, paint the eyes of the Goddess. This is known as Chakshudanam, literally, giving eyes. In the settlement of idol makers in Kolkata, Kumartuli or Kumortuli, workers remain very busy with this all the day.
Tarpan or Tarpana on Mahalaya
Tarpan in Mahalaya also makes the day special. Tarpan or Tarpana means remembrance and as the day dawns people offer their homage as Tarpan for the memory of their deceased ancestors. Hence they gather on the banks of the river Ganges (or any other local river in places far from the Ganges) while priests perform the rite on behalf of the group of devotees. ‘Tarpan’ is performed in empty stomach while foods and sweats are offered to souls of the ancestors. After the rite is complete, people take their meals at the same place of the performance of Tarpan.”
Past Update (16.10.2014.)
BMC 1983-84 Batch
Its about 26 years since (1988) we started losing touch with each other. I have been thinking for a long time to record the Roll No and names before I completely forget them. Eventually, I managed to do it today. Please correct any of the Roll No or name as its not that easy to recall them after so many years. I was stuck at one of the Roll No and it took me few minutes to recall the name as I started writing the names as first come first recorded basis without following the order of 1, 2, 3 etc. I have slight confusion about 51 and 52, but as much as I can recall Debojyoti was 52.
BMC 1983-84 Batch
1. Keya Pal
2. Aruna Neoatia
3. Anjana ?Dutta (left within few months for Kolkata)
4. Tamina Awan (left the course within a month or so)
5. Kanchan Mondal
6. Pranab Peter Roy
7. Anirban Biswas
8. Mahmood Hossain
9. Kakali Das
10. Manas Bhattacharya
11. Sukhomoy Das
12. Om Prakash Singh
13. Kankan Aguan
14. Birendra Prasad Shau
15. Debasmita Bagchi
16. Sudip Halder
17. Prasanto Bhattacharya
18. Bivas Adhikari
19. Kasturi Das
20. Nandini Basu
21. Soudip Sen (left after 4 months for RG Kar)
22. Pompi Bhattacharya
23. Deshabandhu Pal
24. Chanchal Bhattachajee
25. Pradip Halder
26. Haripada Mondal
27. Tapan Khatua
28. Prabal Halder
29. Sudipta Dasgupta
30. Supreeti Biswas
31. Ramranjan Koley
32. Gitasri Ghosh
33. Samita Pan
34. Arindam Mitra
35. Rina Das
36. Shampa Chatterjee
37. Samsuddin Ahmed
38. Anuradha Dey
39. Subrato Dutta
40. Supriyo Das
41. Uttam Majumder
42. Amlan Dutta (left after 4 months for Bankura)
43. Sudipta Paul
44. Amaresh Chandra Mondal
45. Aneek Bhattacharya
46. Somen Das
47. Quazi Benzar-ul Haque
48. Sreeradha Bagchi
49. Tushar Maji
50. Partho Sarathi Sengupta
51. Sanjeev Jha
52. Debojyoti Chakraborti
(53).Utpal Sinharoy (he used to respond as Roll No ?27 1982-83 Batch)
© Dr Sudipta Paul, themedideas.com, 2013