Indiaaah..!

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Indian Deities and Heroes

Surya in Aaru

Surya in Aaru

The picture above is a screenshot from the Tamil film Aaru, starring Suriya. In this scene Suriya’s character Aaru is at a Vinayaka (also known as Ganesh) temple, taking a ritual bath.

I started watching this film yesterday – which was my birthday – so when the subtitles were a few seconds out of sync in the first few scenes this gave me a really good, delighted laugh :)

It also made me think of Indian street stalls, the kind where they sell postcards, stickers, posters etc. They always have an interesting and colourful variety of pictures on display, and you’ll find that paintings of deities and photos of movie stars (“heroes”) are often sitting next to each other. This was one of the first signs that I noticed during my first visit to India some years ago, when I was only beginning to explore Indian cinema; and it’s one of the things that quickly made me realise just how deeply revered and respected movie stars are among Indian people, and how incredibly important cinema is as an invaluable part of Indian culture.

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Rangoli – Loveful Street Art

Rangoli in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India

Rangoli in Tiruvannamalai

The vibrant colours and elaborate patterns never cease to amaze me… Rangoli – also known as kollam in Tamil – is such a wonderful art form! It is popular among women, and is commonly done in temples, at doorways and outside homes all over India.

»God,« aunty says and smiles affectionately, touching her hand to her heart. I smile too. I don’t speak her language and she doesn’t speak mine, but with that one word she manages to express the essence of the intricate piece of art that is quickly taking form on the ground in front of us.

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I Miss You, India!

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

There’s a million and one reasons why I love India. Now and then I get completely overwhelmed with a deep and urgent longing for all things Indian. When that happens I usually light a couple of incense sticks and hug my mug of masala chai for comfort, silently counting the days until I’ll return… India is my Guru, and although it’s true that geographical distance doesn’t mean a thing as long as there’s a heart connection… I’m still yearning to be close to India again.

Today is one of those days, and here are some of the things that are on my mind right now.

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