Author: Annu Kalra

Salutations to Ma Saraswati

There are so many aspects, interpretations as well as rituals associated with every Deity that the Scriptures are replete with stories and anecdotes. Each one of us can derive that which most resonates with our own inner self. As the many WhatsApp messages and FB posts were surfacing today with greetings and blessings for Basant Panchami  & salutations to Ma Saraswati, I remembered a conversation between my Mom and I. Always bursting with curiosity, as little girls are, I had once enquired looking at a Calendar with images of Ma Lakshmi & Ma Saraswati about who they were. Mom said to me...

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A Tribute to Yukti

When I learnt this morning that Yukti had passed away, along with the sadness which is inevitable at the passing away of someone known, I also found myself smiling fondly. She and I weren’t particularly close, even the relationship wasn’t too direct, more like a Basanti relationship from Sholay. She was the daughter of my late ex husband’s first cousin, though the same age as him and also his classmate in school for many years. For very long I kept thinking about how she could be described. She didn’t hold any high level job or education, yet she had a keen intelligence and an enterprising attitude. She had an intrinsic sense of freedom which was very rare in that family. She defied norms without being an activist.  Making quiet contributions without seeking recognition, daring to speak her mind without making a hue and cry about it, always full of fun and laughter, many times even at her expense, but yet not losing her sense of humor and taking everything in stride. When I had just joined the family I was told stories from people in the family about how much she had danced at her own Sangeet and Reception. Mind you, in those days, brides were expected to be demure and shy and those who had spoken thus about her had not done so in admiration, but rather as...

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Time of your Life

As many of the 90 odd women came and spoke to me after I ended the workshop with them a few days back, I realized I had touched a chord in them. They had been so caught up being Mothers and wives and daughters in law and the many other relationships that defined them, that they hadn’t come face to face with themselves in a long time. Some underlying discontent had tormented most of them from time to time as it does many of us too. While their circumstances may have been different from many of us, this sense...

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Learning to transform

The Samundar manthan (Churning of the Ocean) story is a very well known one. I had many years back written an interpretation of the same from the perspective of a Spiritual aspirant. But like all stories of traditional wisdom there are alternative interpretations and not merely from the spiritual perspective but also many other. The Leela of Kanhaiya(story of Krishna) can be a lesson on child psychology as well as advice on pediatric health & nutrition. It has in it references to and examines attitudes towards surrogacy and parenting that are relevant even in the current times. Recently at...

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Till the Cows come Home

My very dear friend complained this morning about my lack of response on a post she had recently done about the lynching of the man in Dadri for allegedly eating beef, cow slaughter and the upheaval in all echelons of society, especially the targeting of a certain section of society based on their religion and eating habits. Commenting on politics and religion and social at a collective level, I have mostly refrained from, because I believe that the transformation at the individual level will bring collective transformation eventually.  All my efforts and sharing have always been about the changes we...

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