Thursday, October 25, 2012

Glimpses of Navratri Celebrations Across India

The festival of nine nights called Navratri is marked as a festival of nine avatars of Goddess Durga, who is worshipped over these nine days in her various forms. The victory of good over evil is celebrated in unique ways by families across India. The nine days of Navratri bring together everyone from the family to join the festivities.

The Tamilian Family:
Women celebrate this festival in a unique manner, arranging golus - a setup of nine stairs to place idols & statues of gods, in their houses. The whole family joins to seek blessings from goddess Durga. The guests are gifted coconuts, beetle leaves & idols of god as a symbol of the blessings received from god.

The Andhrite Family:
Women make `Batukamma` -  a seven layered flower arrangement created using seasonal flowers. 'Batuku' in Telugu means life and 'Amma' means mother. Batukamma is thus the festival devoted to celebrating universal motherhood. Women wear silk sarees and gold ornaments. In the evening, women place their batukammas in the centre and dance around them by singing folk songs dedicated to Goddess Shakti. Then they march towards a lake or any other water body and set afloat their Batukammas.

The kannada Family:
'Navratriya Shubhashayagalu' means happy navaratri in kannada.The celebrations include procession of elephants on the streets. Fairs and exhibitions of handicrafts and artifacts are a common feature of celebration.

The Malayali Family:
Unlike the others, Keralites celebrate only the last three days of Navratri - Ashtami, Navami and Vijaya Dashmi. Books, musical instruments are placed in front of Goddess Saraswati’s idol on the day of Ashtami. The books are worshipped and people pray to the Goddess to seek wisdom and knowledge. On the tenth day, the books are taken out for reading.

The Bengali Family:
The pujas are held over a ten-day period, which is traditionally viewed as the coming of the married daughter, Durga, to her father, Himalaya's home. It is the most important festival in Bengal, and Bengalis celebrate with new clothes and other gifts, which are worn on the evenings when the family goes out to see the 'pandals'. Essentialy the Puja Sharts from sixth day after Mahalaya. On Saptami the seventh day Nabapatrikar- nine plants are worshipped and a ceremonial bath or Mahasnan is performed, after which devi is worshipped. On ashtami , Sandhi Puja the most important event of Durga Puja in which devi is worshiped as Chamunda. On the last day, Dasami ,the puja rituals ends and the idol is submerged in the river along with the nabapatrika.

The Gujarati Family:
Garbha & dandiya raas mark the flavor of navaratri in gujarati families. The word Garbha means The Womb, which is the source of life. Women wear vibrant, mirror-work ghaghra-cholis  and men wear their traditional attire to play garba. The first three days of navaratri are dedicated to Goddess Durga ,the next three days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and the last three are dedicated to Goddess Saraswati - goddess of knowledge, who is dressed in milky white and mounted on a pure white swan. The whole family gets together to offer prayers to the goddess. Later they go to play garbha in traditional costumes that are studded with various jewels & ornaments.

The Punjabi Family:
Most of the Punjabis go on a fast for  the first seven days followed by a jagraata (staying awake whole night ,singing devotional songs dedicated to goddesses).On ashtami,the fast is broken which is followed by bhandara (a feast that includes puris & halwa chana).
On completion of the ceremony, girls are gifted red chunris signifying goddesses’ perpetual presence.

The  Maharashtrian  Family:
Many Maharashtrians  go on padyatra (walking to your destination) to temples, worshipping goddess with pujas & aartis, and some also promise to give up all worldly luxuries as offerings to goddess.Women invite relatives & close ones to their houses for haldi-kumkum, where the relatives are greeted with beetle leaves & bindi that signifies serenity & happiness in the family.

Navratri is a time when people bond with their family , relatives & closed ones whom they love and the ones they wish to spend time with. So whatever you did this navratri- called relatives over,  shook a leg (of garbha) with them, made delicacies, visited pooja pandols, we hope you had an incredible time with your family.

"May goddess Durga bestow her blessings on you and your family. Wishing you all a prosperous year ahead!"

-Happy family bonding
Team imlee:)

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Tintin Blog

Today we bring to you an interesting imlee story by Sauvik Paul aka Dream Peddler -

" Blue blistering barnacles!!!
  Thundering typhoons!!!
  You nincompoops, imterplanetary pirates, I am not going into that flying coffin again!!!!"
                               - Capt. Haddock to Thompson and Thomson in the, "Explorers on the Moon"

Oh!!! How could I forget captin Haddock and his favorite Loch Lomond brand of whiskey? And the inimitable Cuthbert Calculus, Bianca Castafiore, the two bumbling detectives? I was lazing around... in front of the idiot box last night, and suddenly this show on cartoon network came up... I just thought of watching Tintin for a change.. and I exclaimed to myself, "blue blistering barnacles, I forgot almost all the stories in it!!!! And once it had been one of my choicest of all books. I still remember I almost pestered my mom to insanity every other day, to buy me all the Tintin series intill i had all 23 of them. Hee haw!!! Someday I was too bored of reading them over and over again, I would scramble up to my mom's lap and blurred out....Read more.

About the Author:
Sauvik Paul aka Dream Peddler is the versatile person. He claims to spirited, often Floydish, forgiving, a lover of the seas, and the star studded sky and a computer half - literate. The varied colors of the author comes from his love for various things and his dislike for few. Click here to read more about the author.


Friday, July 27, 2012

It's time to get 'puzzled' !

We bring to you the winning imlee story by Suma - 

Whats this - 

It is a picture of two adorable kittens with a yarn of wool. It is also a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle being puzzled over by a six yr-old and his mother...
Yes! We are very smart, thank you very much! Much to the amazement of the resident snorter who thought we couldn't do it...(*i think he was just jealous)

Little S has always been fascinated by puzzles since he was almost 2 years old. He's spent many a rainy day with Kaleidoscope, the puzzle made up of colored little squares, which i love too. But jigsaws are his favorite. It's addictive and a great stress buster. Solving it teaches one about perspectives, about tenacity and is good exercise for the mind. Read more

About the Author -
Suma wears a few hats, among which one is that of a freelance writer. When not writing her travel tales or parenting articles, she loves to create magic with her words, in the form of poems and short stories. Click here to read more blogs by Suma

Friday, July 13, 2012

Childhood memories – Hypnotism!!!!

Today we bring to you a winning imlee story blog by The Rebel

Summer vacations were always the best part of my schooling days. This was the longest time that I got to spend at home considering the fact that I was always away during my school days. This was also the time when my aunt with her kids Mr. CR and Ms. LR visited us from Mumbai! It was fun time for us kids which included Mr.CR, Ms.LR my little sis Ms.SS and myself. We played all day long with games varying from lagori to cricket to hide and seek to ‘I shopkeeper’ where one of us became the shopkeeper and the other 3 were customers to the shop!!!! We the older ones always bullied the younger ones to be the shopkeeper while we played the irritating customers to the shop.  The paper cut into identical rectangles with numbers 10, 20, 50, 100 were our currency notes!!!

Of the 4 of us Mr. CR was the prankster who teamed up with either my little sis or me to play pranks on people. I shared a kind of love-hate relationship with him. I loved him when I teamed up with him to play pranks on others and hated him when I was the victim of his pranks and sometimes ridicule Read more..

About the Author:
The author writes in the pen name of The Rebel. And claims to be Arrogant, Adamant, Headstrong, Short tempered. Click here to read more blogs by The Rebel.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tujhe sab hai pataa-meri Maa

Today we bring to you a winning imlee story blog by Daffodils aka Raumali Dasgupta -

“You know, you are just 17 now. What you feel is natural. Everyone at your age thinks that their parents know nothing, they are enemies, and they don’t love their kids. But a few years down the lane, you will realise how horribly wrong you were and how damn right they had been all this time... “
-A quote by my tutor when I was pissed off at my parents because they didn’t let me go on a school excursion with my friends.....

Dear Ma,

The first time I was walking away from you, I saw tears in your eyes. I thought- oh, give it a break! It was you pestering me all these years. You always said you wanted me away. You chose this. You wanted me to become an engineer, you wanted me to taste hostel life, and now, it’s you who gets to shed the tears. You still get to remain at home, I am the one whom you are sending away to an unknown land, unknown future!!

I didn’t realise then Ma, that one day I would yearn to get back to you. I didn’t realise that the next time I would have to walk away from you, I would be the one to shed tears. I would have to cover my mouth with my hand and bite my lips to stop them from trembling before you. I have become so egoistic and independent that I don’t want you to sense how sad I become just by the thought of parting away from you. Read More

About the Author:
Raumali writes under the pen name of 'Daffodils'. She is presently a second year CSE undergraduate at NIT Durgapur. Raumali loves the company of people which reflects in her liking for event planning and directing.
She is a passionate reader and writer, also a patient listener. Many words define her - optimist, extrovert, restless, sensitive, FB addict, food freak, quite moody at times and a lazy brat. She is obsessed about cakes and anything that’s purple. Though she is a bit ‘serious’ type, you will always find her smiling and laughing. 
Click here to read more about Raumali and her blogs.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I want to be a supermom

Today we bring to you the imlee story by Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar.

When I was a teenager, I happened to catch a small snatch of an American TV series on Doordarshan, our state-run television. I don't remember what it was called, but a song on that show, sung by an 8-year-old boy, caught my attention. I won't pretend that the words were exactly as I've reported them below. Only the first two lines are absolutely accurate. The rest I have forgotten and made up but they do catch the spirit of the original. The song went something like this:

 "My mom thinks she's a supermom, but I don't think that's true.
She works on the computer and the telephone, but I can do that too.

My mom thinks she's a supermom, but I don't think that's true,
She works on the computer and the telephone,
And knits and sews and cooks and bakes, but I can do that too.

My mom thinks she's a supermom, but I don't think that's true,
She works on the computer and the telephone,
And knits and sews and cooks and bakes,
Plays football and mows the lawn, but I can do that too."

The little boy on the show was singing these lines and acting them out at the same time. Read more...

About the Author:

Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar is a mother of two who loves to read, write, crochet, cook, bake, learn languages and watch films. She has a stash of short stories and fable-poems that are waiting to hit the limelight.Till she publishes her work she feels her writing will breathe in her blog. Click here to know more about Cynthia and read her blogs.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Not all memories are good : A fragile family snapshot

Today we bring to you the imlee story by a young talent of the contest         - Abha 

All of us want to believe that with time, every painful memory fades away or can be reminisced about with ease one day. Yet all of us know that in some cases, the memory is so firmly cemented in a foundation of pain that a different perspective can alter nothing. It’s like viewing a snapshot from two ends of a telescope. One from the point of view of the past and the other through the present. Whether you look at it from one end or another, the memory is as vivid and as agonizing today as it was back then.
Reliving such memories or even writing about them, can regurgitate discomfiting emotions or release suppressed ones like a form of catharsis. I don’t know what it’s going to be like for me while I remember this particular family memory.
It was in the winter of 2006, a day after my 9th grade half-yearlies that this specific gut-wrenching event occurred.Read more

About the Author
Abha is a law undergraduate and also a blogger, poet, pianist and Blue Cross (Animal welfare) volunteer. She claims to be the only child of a soldier and a psychotherapist. Her blogs are about life, love, relationships, tribulations, society, spirituality and absolute awareness. For Abha, the idea of leisure includes reading, listening to music and talking with friends and family. 
Click here to know more about Abha.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Oldies or cherished people

Today we bring to you the imlee story by - passionate artist called Veda Kashyap --

t’s 2012.
I wake up at 8… the squirrel outside is screeching it’s heart out for god-knows-what reason. I curse at the open window and slip my head under the pillow to see if i can get some sleep.
I can’t.

I hear a shuffling outside and see that the next door grandpa has come out to the terrace to walk the dog. I love dogs and I usually make random noises from behind the netlon to scare the dog a bit. The grandpa knows what I’m doing and he chuckles at the netlon. I highly doubt he even knows who lives in this apartment. But he still chuckles at me.

The dog runs at the window the second i get up and start making a cat noise. I’m sure it knows that it isn’t a cat but still probably wonders what that odd noise is. Read more...

About the Author:

Veda Kashyap is an artist. She paints and has passion for designing clothes. Her dream is to become a published author and also have her own range pf products (clothing).
Click here to read more about Veda and her blogs.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rauf Lala - My Fav National Hero !!!

We bring to you one more winning imlee story by - Sunita Kurup


Yes you heard it right :) :)... I watched Agneepath yesterday, it was a OK movie, but two things I totally loved in it :- one Rishi Kapoor as Rauf Lala - a filthy character executed superbly.  To my memory I don't think Rishi Kapoor has ever played this kind of a role earlier.  And the second thing about the movie I liked was the emotional table of Vijay played by was on the same platform from the beginning to the end...a continuously stable emotion which did not vary at surprising levels.  Hrithik managed to keep it at the same level maintaining the tempo....too good.  Alright this is not a review of the movie, its about an incident I remembered after watching Rishi Kapoor :) :)

I was in 5th grade, about 11, we had to write an essay.  The topic was - My favorite National Hero.  My parents did not believe in tutions at all.  We were always encouraged to self study, discussing with each other or looking up reference books.  So usually the scene would be, we would complete our home-works and before dinner time, we would read it out to dad, who would correct if anything was missing.  So this particular day, I read out my homework to dad. Read more

About the Author
Sunita or 'Suku' as she is known writes at 'Sukupedia'.  She lives in Stockholm and also contributes to NRI matters and TOI (NRI) section. She is a versatile personality and you can know more about her by visiting her 'About Me' page.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Khatti Meeti and Burning Hot Spicy Life!

Today we bring to you the winning imlee story by Farida Rizwan
One day my mother wanted some puffed rice and she sent me to the shop to get it from a neighbourhood vendor whose shop was quite some distance away.
I walked all the distance only to find the shop closed. I dragged myself home and informed my Mom so. For some peculiar reason her response was odd, “How is that? He is always open on Tuesdays. He is closed only on Fridays. He has to be there. May be you did not go all the distance because you felt lazy. He is always there and you better go and get the puffed rice. I am getting late in serving the breakfast”.
Now I started to wonder what I should do now. This was a frustrating and situation which made me angry. My mind started on its evil journey where I decided to get back at my Mommy. I decided to use the word always as much as possible in everything to irritate her. The word would be my trump card in coming days.
I am stood there lost in my world, when my Mommy continued, “Now when are you going to get the puffed rice?" Read More

About the Author:
Farida Rizwan, mother of two youngsters, survivor of breast cancer, an ex-counselor, a teacher, a freelance writer and most of all a person who has total faith in the almighty. As Farida says- "I enjoy being ME despite the roller coaster ride of life.... and I am quite sure after being with myself for so many years that I do not want to be anyone else. I accept things as they are because, I believe God to be smarter than me. He knows what is good in the long run. I never intend to spoil his plans for me with prayers or by asking him to do what I think is right. I did rather leave it to him to choose what is best for me."

You can read more stories by Farida Rizwan here

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Best Gift Ever !

What is the best gift you can give your family? Read on to find out!

A father came home from work late, tired & irritated, and found his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door. 
Son: "Papa, may I ask you a question?" 
Father: "Yeah sure, what is it ?"
Son:"Papa, how much do you make an hour?" 
Father: (angrily) "That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?"
Son: (insisting) "I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?" 
Father: "If you must know, I make Rs.1000 an hour."
"Oh," the little boy replied, with his head down. Looking up, he said, "Papa, may I please borrow Rs. 850?" The father was furious, "If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and think about why you are being so selfish.I work so hard all day, and this is how you behave!"

The little boy quietly went to his room. The father sat down and started getting angrier about the little boy's questions thinking how dare his son ask him such questions just to borrow some money. After about an hour or so, the father had calmed down, and started to wonder if there was something he really needed as he never really asked for money otherwise.

The father went to his son's room and opened the door. "Are you asleep, son?" Father asked.
"No Papa, I am awake," replied the little boy.
"I have been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier," said the father. "It's been a long day and I took out my frustration on you. Here's Rs.850 you asked for."
The little boy sat straight up, smiling. "Oh, thank you Papa!" He yelled.

Then, reaching under his piggy bank he emptied all the money he had collected coins and notes.The father, seeing that the little boy already had money, started to get angry again.The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.

"Why do you want more money if you already have some?" the father grumbled.
"Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied.
"Papa, I have Rs.1000 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you."

Are you spending enough time with your family ? Your parents , your kids? And how often are you in touch with your aunts and uncles, grand parents , cousins - they are family too right? The people who made those birthdays special, those family gatherings fun and have been there for you!

Time is precious so give your loved ones the best gift by giving them your TIME :) 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Whose Culture is it, anyway? Yours, Mine or Ours?

Last month we hosted the imlee stories contest where people could pen down stories about their special family memories. We got a large number of entries and it was a joy ride to read such interesting family stories. Imlee stories is our endeavor to bring you these beautiful family stories.
*This story was Surange Date’s entry that was adjudged the best story under imlee family stories contest 2012* Read on.. 

As long as I remember, there has been a February 14th. (Someone in the family has a birthday on the 13th)...
But its only in the last 20 years or so, that I hear it being celebrated here, as Valentines Day
. And its only the last 10 years or so that certain pockets of society, and politicians have been objecting to its celebration, with a lot of violence, destruction of shops selling valentines stuff, and shouting from the rooftops. This year has seen the Ram Sene getting into the act in a Mangalore pub, beating up boys and girls, who were supposed to be drinking etc, in direct contravention, of what this Ram Sene says is "Indian culture" .....

When I was a child, explicit socializing between boys and girls was non existent.
Yes, we were aware that in certain more emancipated sections of society such as Christians, the armed forces, and a few Parsees, a western lifestyle that was followed, allowed the practice of such socializing. And while my parents were extremely broad minded about us mixing with boys as a part of your school,college, sports etc, it was understood, that any extra attention from anyone, secretive meetings, fibbing to parents etc was simply not on. And we never suffered from the Friday night syndrome. Read more...
 About the author 
Suranga Date is a woman in her 60's, married and has two children. With a physics master from the university of calif at Irvine, Suranga was one of the few Indian women who took the challenge to explore IT while it was still growing in India. After being associated with India’s leading Software Company and premier engineering institution, Suranga decided to take a break from work to devote more time to her family. The prose and poetry she wrote as a child, simply came back to her when she started blogging. With a knack for writing, suranga likes to write just about everything.
Don’t believe us? Here’s her work-
Gappa- a prose blog
Strewn Ashes - a visual poetry blog
Apnathyroid, a blog about everything Thyroid
Limerickwala- where she contributes Limericks. 
And here's a film Suranga made on her household help(bai) Phillumwali...:-)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Humor in the family :)

Son: Dad, Who amongst father and son is more intelligent?
Father: The father, naturally.
Son: Really? Then why did Columbus discover America and not his father!

Wife: Darling now that we are engaged, can you give me a ring?
Husband: Certainly, what's your phone number?

Son: Father, how much am I worth to you?
Father: Why son, you're worth millions to me.
Son: Please can I have some advance of that sum?

Wife: Wherever we keep the money, our son steals it. I don't know what to do about it.
Husband: Keep it in his textbook. He never touches it!

Mom: Can the children travel in the bus on a half ticket?
Conductor: Yes, provided they are less than 12.
Mom: Thank God, I have only 9!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy World Family Day!

We wish you and your family a happy family day. 
Take a moment to thank the almighty for blessing us with people who are always by our side - our family.  Our family is like our roots , from where we grow. Giving us a strong sense of belonging our families prepare us to face life and learn from our experiences .

 Why do we celebrate the world family day? 
 May 15th is celebrated as the international family day. The united nations proclaimed the year 1994 as the international year of the families. Since then , 15th May is being observed as the international family day to celebrate the importance of families in societies and cultures around the world. 
 Imlee celebrates world family day

To make the world family day exciting we hosted the imlee  family quotes contest. The response was great and our fans linked us to beautiful family quotes. Here are the winning quotes from the contest-
Hope you all had a great time with your family. 

Love & best wishes
Team imlee

Monday, May 14, 2012

Welcome to the imlee family blog!

"Why imlee?" asked one of her friends, and she said “Because our families are like that - khatti meethi!”

Just as you like to bond with your family, we’d like to bond better with you. Welcome to the imlee family blog!There is a lot we would like to share here - feature updates, what goes on behind the scenes, some beautiful family stories, interesting tips, family fun activities and many other exciting things. But today we  would like to share with you the story behind imlee.

Did you ever wonder if your best friend is your distant cousin? Your colleague is your relative? You and some celebrity share common ancestors? Guess what can help you find this? - Your family tree!

Introducing the unique concept of family trees imlee helps you discover and connect with the people in your family network. Family trees are a powerful networking tool, because when you discover a new relative on imlee, you get connected to an entire family and your network grows faster! Not only that, when someone from your tree discovers a relative, the new relative and his entire tree become part of your network. Talk about exponential growth!

But the essence of imlee is not just discovering your family network. It is to help you bond better with your entire family. Our fast paced life and tight work schedules leave us with little time for family. Imlee solves this problem - it simplifies things and makes it easier to say that you care. You’ll never miss a relative's birthday or anniversary and the chance tell them how special they are to you. It’s easier for you to share stuff - even things that you feel are silly. Don’t worry about privacy issues. You’re safe. We promise.

The best feeling in the world is being able to go to a place you can call home - place where you feel like you belong, a place where no one can hurt you, a place where you can learn something new each day from the ones who love you the most. Imlee is here just to help you do that!

Love & best wishes
Team imlee