Friday, October 30, 2015


Karva Chauth / Karwa Chauth, one of many Hindu festivals, is a fasting ritual observed by all married Hindu women who seek the longevity, prosperity and well-being of their husbands. This festival is very popular amongst married Hindu women in the western and northern parts of India, primarily in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh. During the Karwa Chauth festival, married Hindu women dedicate the day to their husbands. Normally, women who observe this festival are called "Saubhagyavati" meaning "joyous and happy status of wifehood." The festival was emerged also as a day for celebrating autumn. Hindu married women enjoy the company and companionship of relatives and friends. As of recently, the celebration has been given a more religious touch.

 Karwa Chauth is glorified and also widely solemnized by Hindus and Sikh living in the northwestern part of India. Karva means clay pot while chauth means fourth. Karwa chauth commemorates the fourth day that follows the full moon in the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar. This festival is typically celebrated immediately after the autumn harvest. This is the best time to meet friends and relatives and exchange gifts. During this festival parents send various gifts to their married daughters.

 Karwa chauth is known for its extraordinary observance rate among married women in certain parts of India. Karwa chauth is celebrated in different ways depending on the region where a person lives. During this festival, jewelry, clothes and gifts are received from both the woman's mother-in-law and mother. All married women wear wedding day outfits once again and apply mehndi.

 There are many similar stories that are associated with karwa chauth from one part of India to another. During this particular day various items such as karwa, which is an earthen pot that has spout are actually collected and worshiped, is offered to the Goddess Parvati and Lord Siva. Usually the festival does not end until the moon is fully seen at night. During this festival an elderly woman is supposed to narrate a karwa chauth story before this fast is over.

 Karwa chauth is a very important as well as a difficult fast that all married Hindu women observe. The festival begins just before sunrise and ends after worshiping the moon and doing prayers at night. No water or food can be consumed once the sun rises. The fast is only broken after seeing the moon and after all rituals of that particular day have been performed. When the moon has appeared, women break the fast after they have offered water to the moon.

 Women dress in special clothes during this festival. A pink or red sari with a gold woven pattern is worn by many women as part their custom and is worn only in the evening. New brides will wear their wedding costumes. The karwa chauth fast sets a merry tone of frolic and fun, feasting and festivity and is amongst the biggest festivals celebrated by Hindus.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Eat Half a Teaspoon of Turmeric and These 10 Things Will Happen to Your Body

Turmeric is a spice used commonly in Indian foods like curry. The spice has significant benefits for the body. Below are 10 ways the body will benefit from your use of Turmeric in foods you eat regularly.

 Inflammation will Decrease 
 Short-term inflammation is helpful to prevent and fight disease. However, long-term inflammation actually has been linked to diseases that cause long-lasting damage and eventually lead to death. Therefore, having additional help in decreasing inflammation means your body can retain overall health. Since the Curcumin in Turmeric blocks NF-KB, it works to fight inflammation.

Antioxidants begin Working More Efficiently
 Curcumin also acts as an antioxidant, which neutralizes free radicals. Free radicals react with fatty acids or DNA, with negative effects on the body. Therefore, minimizing the effects of free radicals is a great benefit for the body. It also helps the body’s own antioxidant enzymes to work more efficiently and have more effect on the body. This has numerous benefits.

 Improved Brain Function 
The hormone BDNF, or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, is vital to the division and multiplication of neurons in the brain. This in turn means decreased brain function in adulthood. However, with Turmeric in your diet, this hormone is increased. This helps the brain function, improves memory and increases intelligence.

 Decreases Risk of Brain Disease
 In correlation with the increase of the BDNF hormone in your brain, the risk of brain diseases are decreased. This is due to the improved functioning of the brain and may even reverse the effects already present in the brain.

 Delays Aging, Fights Chronic Diseases associated with Age
Most aging and diseases associated with that process can be traced back to inflammation. Therefore, the anti-inflammatory qualities of this herb can mean the difference for various diseases that tend to hit a person as they age.

 Lowers Risk of Heart Disease 
The lining of the blood vessels decreases function and heart disease is a significant risk due to issues with regulating blood pressure. However, Turmeric in the diet means improved function for this lining (called endothelium).

 Prevents and Treats Alzheimer’s Disease 
This goes back to the effect on inflammation. Since inflammation is a big factor in the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, Turmeric in the diet can delay the onset or even treat the disease by clearing Amyloid plaques that occur in the body.

 Helps with Arthritis Pain 
Inflammation of the joints is a common arthritis issue. With Turmeric acting as an anti-inflammatory, it makes sense that it would also address this issue and help with the pain and decreased function caused by arthritis.

 Helps Prevent Cancer
 On the molecular level, the growth and spread of cancer has been stopped by Turmeric. Cancers of the digestive system in particular seem to be preventable with the addition of Turmeric to the diet .

 Treats Depression, Improves Mood 
Studies have shown Curcumin to have a similar effect to Prozac, a commonly prescribed anti-depressant. Therefore, the use of Turmeric in your diet can be beneficial to your mental health and mood.

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Sunday, October 18, 2015


As post partition Sindhis,we had often heard of Sindhi names/labels like Amils, Bhaibands, Sindhiwarkis, Hyderabadis and so on, but could not make sense of these so called ‘castes’ of the community. Sindhishaan requested veteran researcher Shri Sahib Bijani to simplify and explain the various ‘types’ to the Sindh community. Here is a summary of the extensive research conducted by Shri Bijani.
Sindhis don’t follow any caste system, but there are certain loosely defined ‘castes’ or ‘zaats’ that are distinct from each other as they have come to be associated with distinct cultural and behavioral characteristics. These qualities or traits arose either from their professional differences or from the cities and places of living. For example Hyderabadis are known because they lived in Hyderabad which was comparatively an advanced and prosperous city. Similarly Shikarpuris are people from Shikarpur. This way there are many classifications in the Sindhi community. We have tried to enumerate some of the better known types in this article.
AMILS – The word Amil comes from amal which means to practice. These are Hindu Kshatriyas who worked as accountants in the governments of Mirs and Kalhodas in Sindh. Nowadays their descendants are also known as Amils even though they may not be in service. Amils residing in Hyderabad would be known as Hyderabadi Amils. Some of the Amils also resided in Khairpur, Larkana and Sevanh. Hyderabadis are supposed to be of a higher Zaat, well educated and fair skinned because the city of Hyderabad in those days was an education and cultural hub.
BHAIBANDS – In Sindh, the business class of Sindhis was known as Bhaibands. These people were into trading and business activities in the kingdom of the Mirs. It would be possible to find one Amil brother and one Bhaiband brother in the same household. In those days Amils would marry only Amils and Bhaibands would marry only Bhaibands. Nowadays even though they may be in service, yet they are known as Bhaibands if their ancestors belonged to this caste.
SINDHWARKIS – Sindhwarkis are those Bhaibands of Sindh who traded in the materials made in Sindh and then exported it. In 1843, the British conquered Sindh and at that time, the Hyderabadi Bhaibands supplied the materials for daily needs to the British soldiers. Because of their contact with the British army they supplied all types of material to them, even from the villages of Sindh. Then these Bhaibands went to Bombay, from there to Columbia and Rangoon. In 1869 the Suez Canal was opened and many Sindhwarkis went to Europe and Singapore and then spread all over the world, and began trading from many other ports and cities. This is the now known category of Sindhi NRIs
CHHAPRUS – The word Chhapru comes from the word Chhappar meaning mountain. These people usually lived in the mountain regions in Sindh and later came down to stay in Karachi. Chhaprus have followed their own distinct rituals and customs. Some of the Chhaprus are also known as Saprus.
BHATIAS – Bhatias are descendants of Shri Krishna. There are thousands of Sindhi Bhatias all over the world today. They usually marry among themselves and are strict vegetarians. Many don’t even eat onions and garlic. Some of their sub-castes are Gajria, Kajria, Parmal etc.
MASANDS – Masands were appointed to spread Sikhism by the fourth Guru, Guru Ramdas. They would spread the message of Gurbani in small towns and villages and collect funds. Then on Diwali day they would go and meet their Guru and hand over the collection. They would then be honored by their Guru. Even today there are around 300 Masands in India; some of them are brilliant educationists and social workers.
THAKURS – These are the descendants of Lord Jhulelal. They are the official Brahmins of the Sindhi community. They head many Sindhi Tikanas and Durbars.
BHAGNARIS – There were two small villages in Baluchistan known as Bhag and Nari which explains the name of this Bhagnari community. They were the community of dry fruits and spice merchants of those days. Some Bhagnaris were also wine merchants. They strictly married in their own community. Some of the famous Bhagnaris are Popleys, Nanomal Issardas and so on.
LOHANAS – Lohanas are the descendants of Luv, the son of Bhagwan Ramchandra. They are the Kshatriyas who lived in an iron fort built by them in Punjab known as Loh-Ghar, which later came to be known as Lahore. They came to Sindh from Lahore from where many Lohanas migrated to Kutch. They are usually engaged in trading and other business.
There are many more such Jaatis in Sindhis and it is not possible to describe each and everyone in this small article. Efforts must be made to research, classify and tabulate these various castes and sub-castes because it has importance for the future generation..

By- Sahib Bijani
Image - Courtesy Google

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The 9 different avatars of Goddess Durga / Nine colours of nine days / Navratri

Navrati – one of the most popular festivals celebrated all around the globe. Devotees worship Goddess Durga and chant various mantras. The occasion starts with Ghatasthapana wherein devotees place picture of Goddess in to the kalash (pot). Here we bring to you nine different avatars of Goddess Durga.
Navrati word in itself holds a special significance which refers to nine nights and nine different forms of Goddess Durga. Each and every Goddess hold importance and is worshipped with religious fervour. There is a myth which says that performing special pujas lifts divine spirits and God grants one with happiness for the rest of his/her life. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijayadashami , wherein devotees immerse idols of Goddess Durga into the water.

Navratri Day 1 : Godess Shailaputri  (Red)

‘Shailaputri’ means the daughter of mountains also known as Sati Bhavani, Parvati or Hemavati. ‘Shail’ means mountains and ‘Putri’ means daughter. She is the first among Navadurgas and devotees worship her on the first day of Navaratri. Goddess Shailaputri symbolizes the power of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. She is quite recognizable as she rides a bull and carries a trident along with a lotus in her hands. According to Hindu mythology, Shailaputri is believed to be the rebirth of Sati. She was the daughter of Daksha and the wife of Lord Shiva. Shailaputri is associated with Lord Shiva.

 Navratri Day 2: Goddess Brahmacharini  (Royal Blue)

 Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day of Navratri festival. This is the second form of Durga who took various births to attain Lord Shiva as her husband. Brahmacharini also known as Tapashcharini, Aparna and Uma. She symbolizes spirituality and meditation. Goddess Brahmacharini holds a rosary in her right hand and a water utensil in her left hand. On this day, women in India observe a rigorous fast to attain peace, prosperity and happiness.

 Navratri Day 3: Goddess Chandraghanta (Yellow)

 Goddess Chandraghanta is worshipped on the third day of Navratri. She is also known as Chandrakhanda, Chandika or Ramchandi. Her name resembles crescent moon which is worn by her on the head. Chandraghanta, totally different from that of Durga, who shows her angry side when provoked. Devotees believe that this Goddess blesses them with a lot of courage and bravery.

Navratri Day 4: Goddess Kushmanda (Green)

 Goddess Kushmanda the fourth form of the Hindu goddess Durga worshipped on the fourth day of Navratri. Ku means little, Ushma means energy and Anda means cosmic egg. It is believed that the darkness in the universe ended with her divine smile and then there was the beautiful beginning of creation.

Navratri Day 5: Goddess Skanda Mata (Grey)

 Goddess Skanda Mata, is the fifth form of Goddess Durga and Skanda means Kartikeya and Mata means mother. She grants her devotees with wisdom, power and prosperity. She is also regarded as The Goddess of Fire.

 Navratri Day 6: Goddess Katyayani (Orange)

 Katyayani, the sixth form of Goddess Durga is also known as a Warrior Goddess. It is said that she eventually led to slaying the demon, Mahishasura and then mounted the lion given to her by Goddess Gauri.

Navratri Day 7: Goddess Kalaratri (White)

 Kalaratri, the seventh form of Durga who is known for destroying ignorance and removing darkness from the universe. Kalaratri or Shubhamkari – is the violent form of Goddess Durga. It is said that she licked the blood of demon Rakta Beeja, who had the potential to create demons from his blood.This form of Goddess depicts the darker side of life.

 Navratri Day 8: Goddess Mahagauri (Pink)

 Mahagauri the eighth avatar of Goddess Durga who is known as a ray of lightning. According to myths, she performed rigid Tapas without moving her body. Due to which heavy amount of soil and dust got collected on her body and Lord Shiva cleaned her with water from Ganga river. Therefore, purity is depicted in this form of Durga.

 Navratri Day 9: Goddess Siddhidatri (Sky Blue)

 Siddhidatri, ninth avatar of Mother Goddess who provides knowledge to her devotees. The knowledge that she provides makes one realise that it is only her who exists, in short she is the supreme power of all perfect things. In this form she is seated on a lotus flower and holds variety of things in her hands including lotus, mace, conch shell and discus.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Why Indian women wear Toe Rings ?

The toe ring which is also known as ‘Bichiya’ is a type of ring just like finger ring or some others rings that is made by various types of metals and non-metals compounds. And it is most popular traditional as well as modern fashion or trend among Indian women. Most of the Indian girls especially bridals and married women like to wear it on special occasions such as wedding ceremonies, engagement parties, some religious events and even on daily regular routines. And it is also becoming a fashion among Indian women. They show their so much interest in this type of fashion. And many people thought that why is it necessary to wear it? and why women like to wear it? There are many reasons to wear it in Indian women. First and common reason is that wear the toe ring is the sign or identity of married women. The wear it also because of their culture as their ancestors wore it culturally. There is a very amazing search about the wear of toe ring among Indian women.

The science have revealed that the toe ring in the second toe helps to women in some regulations for example a particular nerve passes from this second toe to the uterus and also from uterus towards the heart. This toe ring gives help in circulating blood towards uterus and heart and resulting strengthen the uterus. And also gives help these organs in many other functions. Moreover, when it wears in the both side or in the both second toes of foots or even in one side foot too, it helps in the regulation or maintenance of the menstrual cycle in women during certain interval of menstrual cycle in Indian women. And this is why it is considered as a best way and gives a good scope and help for conceiving to married women. This is why Indian women wear it especially in the second toe of the both foot or even in one foot.
And one is the most important thing is also seen in Why Indian Womens Wear Toe Rings Mostly and likely silver colored toe ring never wear gold toe ring. The main and common reason of this thing is that Indian people especially women are prefer to their ancient culture or tradition. And they considered gold is a respect able and value able thing and this is why they considered it not able or good thought and not fear thing to wear it in toe as toe ring in the foot because it will come behind the foots.. And this is why they like to wear toe ring in silver color and in some other metallic products. And also silver is considered as a good conductor and it is more helpful in the absorption of polar energies and in some other functions. These are the most authentic, valuable and enough reasons to wear toe rings in the foot of Indian girl’s and especially bridals and married women.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Joining Both Palms Together To Greet / Namaste / Namaskar

In Hindu culture, people greet each other by joining their palms – termed as “Namaskar.” The general reason behind this tradition is that greeting by joining both the palms means respect. However, scientifically speaking, joining both hands ensures joining the tips of all the fingers together; which are denoted to the pressure points of eyes, ears, and mind. Pressing them together is said to activate the pressure points which helps us remember that person for a long time. And, no germs since we don’t make any physical contact!
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Friday, October 2, 2015


If we ask any person or any school going children, what is the existence of October 2nd in Indian history; probably they will not even think once and tell that it is Gandhi Jayanti (Birthday of Mahatama Gandhi). The important day October 2 is treated as national holiday for Gandhi jayanthi and international day for non violence. Passing time has eroded our values and principles and also importance of this great day. Times have changed andso has the perception of the present generation regarding the importance of this day. The profound effect of this can be seen clearly in current state of affairs. Today when I saw news paper every page covered with Gandhi jayanthi wishes. However, the importance of 2nd October remains incomplete if we do not remember another great son of India A true Gandhian Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was born on the same date.
We always celebrate 2nd October as Gandhi jayanti but so many people forgetting there's one more celebration on this day of our great leader and best Ex Prime minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri. I know most of the people don't know that his birthday also come on the same day because in our schools, colleges we were only told about Gandhi jayanti on 2nd October, even the television channels also telecasting movies on the eve of Gandhi Jayanthi, but I have hardly witnessed any type of coverage about Lal Bahadur Shastri or his birth anniversary on any TV channels. We observed the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October. Indeed it is highlighted that Mahatma was "one man army" who made the British Empire yield and obtained freedom for India. It is believed that Mahatma is most "read about" and "talked about" person in the contemporary world.
However, very few people know that it is the birth anniversary of Late Lal Bahadur Shastri as well; Except for those of like my father who grew up in the sixties and seventies, Lal Bahadur shashtri was a figure whom we knew little about. He was the little man with iron in his constitution, the man who succeeded Jawaharlal Nehru, honest to the core, the man who won the 1965 War with Pakistan. In a manner we should call this day as Gandhi jayanti as well as Shastri Jayanti. It is pity that the people, who remember and celebrate Gandhi Jayanthi, forget that the same day is the birth day of our former prime Minister - a humble man.