Deep Pooja: The House Cleaning

Please do not confuse this with Diwali, Deep Pooja is an esoteric ritual celebrated by Maharashtrians. This day also coincides with the gastronomic Gatari as well. As we all know what follows Gatari is a month of diet control (much like Lint for Christians or Ramzan for Muslims), where we try and avoid eating non-vegetarian food.

So why take this diet?

There are multiple reasons why this diet is part of annual ritual for many Maharashtrians.

  • It helps cleanse your system with a month of vegetarian diet
  • That one month coincides with the breeding season of the fish, thus giving nature time to replenish the resources that we consume in a year
  • It also gives you a reason to celebrate and eat, drink and be merry

This will go on till Ganesh Chaturthi, post which the month long fast is broken.

What is Deep Pooja?

Deep Pooja is the cue to the community to do house cleaning of all the lamps in the household. In the days before electricity, the light provided after sunset was using oil lamps. The bigger and richer the household, the more lamps they used. Deep Pooja was the day when all the lamps in the household were cleaned of all the grime and oil residue, and thanked by the household for providing them with light.

Of course, with every festival such as this, there is specific Pathare Prabhu cuisine such as Umbar.

So do we thank Electrical Switches and Tubelights now?

Nope. At this point of time, pragmatism kicks in. Yet, all the lamps in the household are cleaned and made ready for their use (Ganpati, Diwali). We are yet to start thanking Electricity and service providers (yes, when I thank Reliance, that’d be the day!!). However, we still do house cleaning during this time and that is what this day should represent.

Happy New Year 2013!

People ask me what will I be doing this new years? In the past, I would be partying during my bachelor days … there were some other nights when on New Years, I was installing Ubuntu alongside with a glass of scotch! (yes, this has happened on two separate New Year occasions in fact!). This year end, I plan to spend quality time with my family and away from the machines.

As time goes by, one’s personal opinions on certain issues also change. 2013 for me is going to herald such changes. Resolutions for me have always been a no-no. I used to think that resolutions are just another way of breaking a rule that you set for yourself. As we enter the year 2013, I am making these resolutions … not for breaking them but as a sense of maintaining some personal discipline!!

Here are my resolutions for 2013

  • Be more regular on my blog, with at least 1-2 posts a week.
  • Not just write about games or random topics, but try to write around a niche of topics that are ACTUALLY interesting and USEFUL to people.
  • Wake up at 7am every day (yes, even as lowly as this one … I can’t help it … sometimes I just manage to oversleep till 10!!)

I’d like to stop here since I never tend to follow-up with things when I overdo them. The thing with resolutions is that they need to be measurable … and then we need to follow through with reviews and rinse-repeat!!

  • That means I need to post roughly 81 posts in 2013 (right now I am at 504, exactly a year after I write this post, I need to be at 585+ posts). Perhaps a small widget displaying the post count this year would do this task! Saw this post a day after I published this post – it’s the commitment which pays and why there is no such thing as writer’s block.
  • I have decided to write more about WordPress, Google Analytic and, Google Adwords. How do you track useful to people, hmmm … one metric could be traffic! another could be the number of returning visitors! A third an perhaps more relevant metric could be the share of Most Read Categories to switch from games (which is now at 39%) to Technology.
  • This is a completely offline event, so you need to rely on my reliable reporting! Which means that I report faithfully what time I woke up and keep a track of this for a year! Ughh … I am hating this resolution already! A percentage metric would then be a simple matter of find how many days I woke up at 7am.

I will leave you with this lovely quote I stumbled across on the interwebs

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.

Wishing you all a very happy new year!

Happy Dussehra

Here’s wishing all of you a very happy Vijay Dashmi and a Happy Dussehra.

When we were kids, we often used to say – Happy Dussra, Haath Paay pasra :)

Today, is in essence, just that. It’s a holiday and everyone is relaxing. In Maharashtra, we have this tradition of exchanging leaves from the Shammi tree. Apparently, Dussehra is also the day that marks the end of the Pandava’s 14 year exile (yes, even Pandava’s had an exile like Ram).

On that day, the Pandava’s had hidden their weapons in a Shammi tree, and that is why the leaves of the tree are more precious than gold itself. Hence the exchanging (I am sure some stingy old person might have thought of this lore to circumvent actual gold exchange :-)).

Ganpati Bappa Morya

It’s that part of the year again, the time when Mumbai rocks as one, and the sleeping Marathi Manus comes out of the house to celebrate with everyone.

In case you are in Mumbai, then do consider this as a personal invitation to grace my abode for Ganesh Chaturthi for darshan (and ice-cream ;-)).

Address – 306, Akruti Nova-A, Akruti Niharika Complex, Off N. S. Phadke Marg, Saiwadi, Andheri (E)

Dates – 1st September and 2nd September

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year!

May you do awesome work instead of making up useless resolutions, may your work be noticed by every one that matters and may all of us get more energy and inspiration to do great stuff!!

PS – incidentally today also is the date 1/1/11 and this post has been published on 11:11