Monday, March 12, 2012

My Schedule

Well, I havent really talked to you about my day to day life now have I ? :) So let me give you a small sneak peak into what I do with my time here apart from writing these blogs once in a while ;) :P

This quarter I have stuffed my schedule of classes again and yet have lots of free time. It sure is nice when the subjects are so well arranged. Kudos to the person who does it :)

And so I decided to join the sports club and a few activities. I was browsing through the classes available and suddenly my eyes fell on Climbing - Beginners. Ooh .. This flashed the scene from Mission Impossible 2 where Tom Cruise rests his hands in the middle of a steep climb by wedging his legs into a crack. Wont that be fun and join I did along with a friend of mine, Saish. I had no idea it is gonna be so 'not easy' :P

The classes are held on every Thursday evening. By the end of the classes, my forearms become like that of Popeye's minus the anchor tattoos :P But none the less, a good workout and introduction of new techniques every week keeps it pretty challenging. Not to forget how I almost got stuck in such a position and the instructors were sniggering from below and asking me to not dislocate my shoulders :P It is hillarious when you are stuck in such a situation and your strength is failing (PS: I had footholds) :P The instructors are pretty fun and the new one is too awesome and cool. It sure is fun and you tend to look forward to it :)

However, I might have to miss out on my class because I almost broke my left leg at the knee which is a long story. So hoping I recover soon n continue next week onwards :)

But this week is pretty interesting from my view. I have signed up for the Harmonica workshop on Wednesday and hoping to start a nice little hobby and make sure I irritate the hell out of my neighbours who speak loudly at un-Godly hours in their rooms and keep me from sleeping :D

And Thursday there is a Air Hockey Tournament ;) Hahaha .. Am glad the Sports and Culture centres keep having such interesting activities and workshops in addition to a number of sports. I am hoping to start Fencing classes next quarter and hopefully it works out as planned :)

As for socializing, this Sunday we have the screening of 1st One day international Match between India & Pakistan at the Sports Centre. The atmosphere is gonna be electric and fun :D Of course there are regular concerts and other musical nights arranged by TUD. But there are also movie or Culture nights arranged by the Indian Students Association or other such associations by different countries which open up a nice stage for inter-cultural mingling and awareness.

Looking forward to many more such opportunities and secretly hoping I dont have to say goodbye soon :)

The Festival of Colours - HOLI 2012

PS: That is my hand print ;)
If you were to pass the Sports & Culture center on a Sunday afternoon (i.e. yesterday), your attention would be grabbed by the blaring music to which people were dancing, in the nearby park. But then try to take a closer look. If you are unaware of this festival, the sight might highly surprise you :D After all, people going crazy and throwing colours on each while still dancing to loud music is something you don’t get to see every day. The sight was the celebration of Holi, a Indian festival (Please refer to my previous blog for more details), organized by the Indian Students Association (ISA).

To start with, it was a perfect day. After a gloomy and drizzle filled week, it was a perfect ‘Sun’day. It was not very cold and people could easily strip down to their T’s and not shiver. The prep’s for the stage, the music system, drinks bar and the snacks bar all went on without issues. Once everything was set and a small crowd had gathered around, we brought out the colours :D

Colours being 'applied' is an understatement. Every new comer was greeted slowly and then tried to be put down to the ground n buried in coloured powders :D Now that you are one of them, you do the same to the next victim ;)

Well, of course it scared some people away like a friend of mine who came from Hague to attend the festival but looking at the way colours were being applied, she simply slipped away :D

We definitely had a great time. Almost dropped one of the guys into a canal since he was mischievously trying to put the colour powder onto our teeth :D But then we were in no mood to fish an icicle out of the canal :P

The ISA board had also organized a Indian snack bar with Samosas, Vegetable Bajji’s, Gulab Jamun’s & Mango Lassi. They all tasted fantastic and hit the right spot after such a amazing time :D

I hope that next year if you are in Delft at this point of time, do drop in and celebrate our festivals with us :)

Last but not the least, I would like to thank my friend Lakshmeesh Rao for his fabulous snaps. You can see more at:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Holi - A Festival of Colours : A History

 *** Disclaimer: Over time there have been various stories as to how it originated but I will be sticking to a more widely accepted one. If I have not followed the version you are familiar with or have hurt any sentiments, it was unintentional. I seriously hope I do not get chased down and coloured bad for not writing your version ;) No hard feeling right ? ;)

Most of the Indian festivals have a divine and mythological root and Holi is no exception. As always this story is again the triumph of good over evil and Holi is the celebration of this victory. 'Holi' however means 'burning' and its origin is very old. So, I will tell you with 2 stories both of different eras starting with the real one and later on to how it got the colourful front.

*** For those who arent interested in the history, kindly scroll down to the INVITATION section ***

Recommended Prerequisites for the story (TUD Style ;)): There are 3 main Gods according to the Hindu belief. Brahma - The Creator, Vishnu - The Preserver & Shiva  - The Destroyer. This story involves the first two namely Brahma and Vishnu. Now that we have fulfilled the prerequisites, lets begin the story :D

Once upon a time, there was a Demon (Asura) King named Hiranyakashyap who wanted to avenge the death of his brother by the hands of Vishnu (Gods and the Demons keep fighting always!!). So he decides to pray to Brahma for a boon which will enable him to defeat Vishnu. After years of penance, Brahma grants him a boon which almost makes him immortal.

He returns and forces his subjects to pray to him and not to the Gods. But to his disappointment, his son, Prahalad,  turns out to be a devoted follower of Vishnu. This enrages him and he decides to kill him but all efforts go fruitless. Finally he asks his sister Holika, who thanks to a boon was immune to fire, to carry the child and burn herself on a pyre. However, she did not know that her boon came with a conditions apply * and was applicable only if she was alone. So she was burnt to death while his son was unscathed from the fire who was saved by his devotion to Vishnu. Later, even the devil King Hiranyakashyap was killed by the hands of Vishnu but that is a different story.  

Holi celebrates the death of Holika symbolically evil. That is why on this day people have bonfires as a symbol of victory of good by the burning of evil.

Now you might wonder then why on this day we play with colours if the real story is celebrated by bonfires. That brings us to the age of another character named Krishna a reincarnation of Vishnu.

Krishna often asked his mother Yashoda as to why Radha (his childhood love) was so fair and he wasnt. To this his mother asked Krishna to apply colour on Radha's face and see how her complexion changes. This slowly became popular and went on to become a village ritual. It increased in popularity as Krishna went on to become a King and his involvement in so many stories to bring justice resulted in a large number of devotees who carried on this tradition of colour.

Since it is celebrated during the time of spring and harvest, it also became a way of celebration for the farmers at the prospect of properity and so burn their first batch of crops as a symbol of offering to Agni  (The God of Fire) and then use the rest for personal and other use.

Story is done and now to the most important part.


We the students of Indian Student's Association (ISA) will be celebrating Holi this year on the Campus of TU Delft on the 11th of March 2012. So do come join us and let us celebrate together the setting in of Spring with colours, Indian snacks, Drinks (alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic) and not forgetting the all important music with a DJ.
The location is the park opposite the Sports Center from 12:00 to 15:00 hours.
So do save it in your schedules and dont forget to bring your friends too.

For more information and updates, please check:   

PS: Please wear your finest clothes ;)