Tag Archives: story

Prayer bells in India

Photo Credits: A. Mittal
Photo Credits: A. Mittal

While browsing through my old pics, I stopped at these bell pics and wondered what was I thinking when I took pictures of these bells.  Sure, the dense clustered bells must have been an intriguing  factor, but the presence of so many bells in a temple not so heavily crowded was a little surprising.  These pictures are from some temple in a small hilly town of Chamba in Himachal Pradesh, India.

Bell sounds can be commonly heard in India.  And when you hear it, it is apparent that there must be a temple nearby.  In India, you will never come across any temple without a bell, it is a ritual here to ring the bell before praying.  After much thought on why it’s a norm for every temple to have at least one bell, I read somewhere that these bells are made of different metals in different ratios that gives them a distinct sound. It is said that when the tongue of the bell is struck against the outer cap it produces the divine sound of ‘Om’.   In Hinduism, ‘Om’ is considered as the holy syllable which encompasses all the sounds of our universe.  So, the theory is  by striking the bell before praying, you are inviting the virtual energy or vibes to engulf your surroundings while diminishing the negative ones at the same time.

Remember to ring a bell in temples in India. 🙂

Photo Credits: A. Mittal

 

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Live for a better world

Arazu, a single Afghan mother of four smuggled herself with 2 sons from Afghanistan to Germany after bribing exorbitantly at the borders.  This was in 2011.  She still awaits the reunion with her daughters.

Hyeonseo Lee, a North Korean national escaped the country for the better world only to reunite with her family after 14 years.

Kunsang, a Tibetan woman who left her home country with her daughter in order to survive from ruthless invading Chinese army.  Though she is over 90 she has never been able to return to her country. Living an exiled life.

And it’s just not them. There are thousands of people every day who put their lives at risk to find out ways to escape from extremist countries. I am left flabbergasted with the immense courage and determination (of course loads of money!!) displayed by these people to leave that toxic political and social environment in desperation.

Living in a democratic country I still crib about the corruption and bureaucracy prevails in India however when I read such stories I feel so fortunate to be a part of it.  It is sad that some of us are very unfortunate not because we are born in poor families or with some disorders but to take birth in a country like Afghanistan or North Korea!!  There, the life of an individual is not his or her but it is heavily dependent on the political scenario of the country.  In North Korea not even that option as there is only one man rule. I have been wanting to write on Kim Jong-un since long but have never been able to understand how one family has been able to hold its control on its people for that long even after incidents of insurgencies all around the world. Pick up a history of any subdued nation there is always one section of society raising its voice against autocratic rule and starting some sort of Guerrilla Warfare against the ruler but it is disappointing how we haven’t read any such revolt in North Korea.

It is quite despairing, you take birth in this world only to find yourself on the behest of country leaders.  Suddenly your life is not yours. You are scrutinized, monitored and live in constant surveillance. And making matter worse if you are born with shit luck you would either end up losing your life in a suicide bomb attack or a vegetable life in a concentration camp.!!!

Story of the abandoned villages

Khaba, the abandoned village

This picture was taken at the ruins of Khaba village in Rajasthan, India. It is actually an abandoned village. There are around 84 abandoned villages in Rajasthan state in India. These villages were inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins clan. The story behind this abandoned village is that many years ago there was a shrewd tax collector (also a close associate of the king) who got smitten by a girl from Khaba village. He asked her father for her hand which was obviously refused due to different caste. The revengeful tax collector threatened to destroy the village if the girl was not given to him. It is understood that to save the honor, overnight the villagers abandoned the place.

A more generic version of the story which is applicable to other abandoned villages is that the tax collector and other officials of the king used to harass the villagers by asking them exorbitant taxes and monetary fines in order to fill the king’s coffers. Consequently, to save themselves from the harassment the villagers deserted the villages.

All these ruins now serve as photogenic tourist sites.