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Sikh Festival Guru Purab- Origin and Celebrations

03 Dec 17

Punjab is a land of devotion known for its extravagant festivities. Guru Purab is one of the auspicious festivals of Punjab observed as a mark of respect towards the Sikh Gurus. Guru Purab seeks to celebrate either the birth or the martyrdom of Sikh Gurus. The most important Guru Purabs are the birth anniversaries of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh, the martyrdom days of Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur, and of the installation of the Guru Granth Sahib in the Harimandar at Amritsar.

Baisaki and the martyrdom days of the sons of Guru Gobind Singh are other important Guru Purabs. The date of celebration of this festival varies as per the lunar calendar. Two days before Guru Purab, a non- stop recital of Guru Granth Sahib takes place in Gurudwaras. This continuous reading ceremony is known as Akhand Path which lasts for 48 hours. A procession led by the Panj Piare (five senior Sikhs) and the Palki (Palanquin) of Guru Granth Sahib is organised on the next day. A troop of singers, brass band players, Gatka (martial art) follow the Palki while displaying their skilled arts.

At about 4.00 am on the day of Guru Purab, morning hymns (Asa-di-Var) and hymns from the Sikh scriptures are recited. Then there is a katha followed by Ardas, distribution of Kadha Prasad and serving of Langar (free meal). At around 2 am the celebrations come to an end.

Content: wikipedia.org

By: Anuja Arora

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Meenakshi Amma - Kalaripayattu

19 Mar 18

Meet Meenakshi Amma, Kalaripayattu expert and exponent in wielding the urumi. At 76, she received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award during the year 2018. Amma's tryst with the art began from a very tender age, when she was hardly of five years.

Even then, VV Raghavan (or Raghavan master as he was called), the founder and teacher at the Kadathanadan Kalari Sangham school, sensed the innate talent of his young student. Despite his reputation as a tough task master, he was impressed by her nimble footwork, rhythmic movements, agility and dedication. Meenakshi supported her Master Raghavan in running the school and work there as his assistant. This art of Kalaripayattu is a male dominated domain and women clad wrapped in a saree generally avoid the hassle but Meenakshi Amma at 76 have broken the myths with her expertise. Her agility, fitness, defense techniques, counter attack, and swift movement generated million fans.     

Every year, Amma's school trains around 200 students from various parts of the world and does not charge students. Only donation or dakshina is obtained from students that are offered on completion of the course. Amma reveals how Raghavan begin his journey by starting the school by his own and teaching the local boys free of cost. Since then, Amma is following his footsteps.     

As revealed by many of the trainees, dedication and hard work is the key to Meenakshi Amma's tremendous success as a Kalaripayattu trainer. Though Amma is the proud recipient of one of the highest civilian award, she still remains a simple kind-hearted lady who will always inspire and make us proud.    

By: Subrata Dey

Content: https://scroll.in/magazine/827834/how-a-kerala-grandma-went-from-kalaripayattu-exponent-to-internet-star-to-padma-shri-winner

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Stationery Items that Every Kid in the 90’s Can’t Forget

20 Mar 18

Childhood is the most beautiful and innocent phase of life. It is a phase when the mind is without fear and the heart is without greed. Kids in the 90’s used to surround themselves with fancy stationary items. Indeed that was one all a kid in those days desired. But today’s scenario is somewhat different. Today, due to technological advancements the scenario has quite changed. Ever since the child becomes a little mature, they are exposed to Iphones and Ipads. These things mean a lot to the kids in the present day than anything else. If we look back, there are a number of amazing things that kids in the 90’s craved. Some of these items are as follows: Multi-purpose pencil box - The multi purpose pencil box was the most wanted item among the children; Rocket Pencil - It used to be the most fancy thing available; Ink Eraser - Often used to erase ink but most of the times it used to tear the sheet of paper itself; Scented Erasers- These erasers were available in different shapes and scents. They were not so efficient in erasing though; Fancy Sharpeners - These sharpeners were available in different shapes and sizes and there used to be a lot of competition among kids concerning who shall have the best sharpener; Pencil Tops - The beautiful trendy pencil tops were another trend among the kids; Pop-a-point pencils - Also referred to as the magic pencils, these were indeed a blessing in the childhood days. Apart from these some other amusing stationery items of those days include: Mechanical pencils; wing sung fountain pens; correction fluid pen; pen pencil; glitter pens; geometry boxes; multi coloured pens; wax crayons, sketch pens, magic pens etc.

By: Anuja Arora

Content: https://www.scoopwhoop.com/stationery-items-every-90s-kid-will-remember/?   ref=latest&utm_source=home_latest&utm_medium=desktop#.va9u2amkf

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Djokovic Lost at Indian Wells Whereas Roger Won

20 Mar 18

The Indian Wells Masters, also known as BNP Paribas Open due to sponsorship reasons, is an annual tennis tournament. It is held in March at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, United States.

Novak Djokovic, who is a Serbian professional tennis player, is currently ranked world No. 13 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals. Five-time winner Novak Djokovic lost to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel after suffering a three-set defeat in the BNP Paribas Open this year. Daniel triumphed by 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-1. Baffled Djokovic, stated that he is feeling very weird. His bad health over the last few weeks just puzzled everything for him.

Although he is grateful that he could come back to the field so quickly after undergoing a surgery but he feels bad at the errors that he made. He made four double faults, and 62 unforced errors in total. On the contrary, Roger Federer did not prove as unlucky as Djokovic. He won four games that he needed to defeat Federico Delbonis. Juan Martin Del Potro took just under 70 minutes to beat Australian Alex de Minaur 6-2 6-1. Frenchman Gael Monfils survived before beating big-serving American John Isner 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.

By: Anuja Arora

Content: http://www.skysports.com/tennis/news/12110/11286853/novak-djokovic-loses-to-taro-daniel-at-indian-wells

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How to Deal With Maths Phobia

19 Mar 18

Ever wondered why kids are afraid of Maths? Have you ever come across people in departmental stores/market place/busy street calculating their bills on phones? Worldwide, this Maths Phobia is discussed and these days, inspite of so many modern techniques coming including Abacus, the issue still remains unresolved.

Go back to your own time, specially the ones who finds difficulty in Maths, you'll held a plethora of issues responsible. Today, we will discuss a few issues that can be taken well care of our elders and mentors.

Highest Pedestal: People often place Maths at an unreasonably high pedestal that when children cannot fulfill it, they run away from it. Comments like "You have to score very good marks in Maths", "You have to score full marks" weakens the confidence of children.

Unnecessary Tension/Thinking: Parents/teachers/children often make Maths more challenging than it really is! It's often a custom to do all the easier subjects first and then solve Maths problems. It is as if a rule to resolve complicated issues later on that kills the fascination for doing Maths.

Maths phobia is a never-ending issue and its better to resolve it at a very early stage rather than to wait and watch.

First of all, take baby steps while teaching the subject, be it teachers or parents. Start by making them solve sums that are below their standard. This way, self-confidence will get enhanced.  Never let down the children even if they are not able to understand at one go. Try to bring in practical examples around you while teaching the subject.


By: Subrata Dey

Content: https://flintobox.com/blog/parenting/why-kids-dislike-math

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Cumin: History, Origin and Uses

19 Mar 18

Cumin is an aromatic spice with a strong, warm aroma and distinctive bitter flavor. Cumin is widely used in various cuisines and places such as Middle Eastern, Asian and Mexican cuisines. The spice can be sold whole or ground and is available in 3 colors: black, amber and white. The seeds are harvested from the tiny dehydrated fruit of an yearly plant that is part of aromatic plant family.

Cumin has been used since ancient times. The Egyptians were the first to have used it in culinary purposes. Greeks and Romans used cumin for its medicinal properties. Cumin is also pointed in the Bible in the both the old and the new testament. Today, it is most commonly grown and used in Malta, India, China, Iran, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

Apart from adding flavor to whatever food it is added to, cumin is also known for its great medicinal properties. Cumin, along with other spices and ghee, holds a very important place in Ayurvedic medicine. The seeds are rich in iron and can help in strengthening your immune system. Studies have also shown that cumin can help in preventing development of stomach cancer, can prevent diabetes and has strong liver detoxification properties. Cumin’s contribution to wellness has really fascinated scientists and those involved in holistic nutrition. It is regularly used in seasonings and curry powders. Cumin seed oil is also used in the perfume industry to add that perfect touch of aroma.


By: Neha Maheshwari

Content: http://www.indianmirror.com/ayurveda/indian-spices/cumin.html

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