INDIAN WEDDING AND MEHANDI (HENNA) CELEBRATIONS OCT 13-14 2015 RISHIKESH

October 21, 2015

INDIAN WEDDING AND MEHANDI (HENNA) CELEBRATIONS-OCT 13-14 2015 RISHIKESH

HAPPY COUPLE

HAPPY COUPLE

20151014_215204

PROUD FATHER

20151014_215548

BEAMING MOM

HAPPY PARENTS

HAPPY PARENTS

IMG_20151019_224501

These are just a very few of the many photos I shot at this joyous Indian wedding celebration and the Mehandi (henna) the day before, for Manish, the youngest son of my dear friends Dr. Arora and his lovely wife Manju. Hope this gives you some idea of the scope, energy, joy and amazing colors…(see link below for full album)

COLORS COLORS COLORS

COLORS COLORS COLORS

This was an amazing two day celebration and and the photos don’t do justice the the joy and great celebration that is an Indian wedding.  I have a few videos and have also posted links below to give you a little more feel for what was going on… The thing that most stands out, in my mind, are the colors!  Please open the link below to see the amazing array of colors, and energy, which is an Indian family celebration.  The Mehandi (henna), day before the marriage ceremony, was particularly lovely and I was privileged to be an invited guest to the intimate family celebration at the home of the groom’s parents.  I was lovingly accepted and joined in all the fun, including having my hands hennad and dancing.

HENNA BEING APPLIED

HENNA BEING APPLIED

HENNA BEING APPLIED TO MY HAND

HENNA BEING APPLIED TO MY HAND

FINISHED HAND

FINISHED HAND

FINISHED HAND

FINISHED HAND

FINAL RESULTS THE FOLLOWING MORNING

FINAL RESULTS THE FOLLOWING MORNING

But there was no place for me in the beautiful, traditional Punjabi dances the women did.  Dressed in traditional Punjabi clothing and jewelry, with their hair done up with braided extensions ending in feathers…the photos truly don’t do justice.

TRADITIONAL PUNJABI DANCING

TRADITIONAL PUNJABI DANCING

TRADITIONAL PUNJABI DANCING

TRADITIONAL PUNJABI DANCING

Thought to give you  some of idea of how an Indian wedding works…food is available the entire time, no sit down dinner…people eat when they want, dance when they want, everyone goes to sit with the bride and groom on the dais to have their photos taken, others sit in the arranged seating to just watch…it is really lovely.  And goes on until about 5 in the morning when the final puja is celebrated.  I did not stay for the actually ceremony…I had a ride and was actually relieved to be able to go home early….at midnight!!!!!

TRICK TO GETTING THROUGH AN INDIAN WEDDING FROM START TO FINISH

TRICK TO GETTING THROUGH AN INDIAN WEDDING FROM START TO FINISH

TRICK TO GETTING THROUGH AN INDIAN WEDDING FROM START TO FINISH

TRICK TO GETTING THROUGH AN INDIAN WEDDING FROM START TO FINISH

Sorry about the video below, but I held the camera sideways to get a wider angle, but do not know how to rotate the video now.

I truly feel blessed to have been included in these celebrations and feel very fortunate and most grateful.

Hope you enjoy these few photos and get some idea of the scope, energy, joy and amazing colors, and that the links work wel

1. Link to indian wedding photo album

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153254194751545.1073741890.547896544&type=1&l=34192e68fa

2. Quick Video View of Wedding celebration

https://www.facebook.com/LADYJANE62/videos/10153252458946545/?l=4478702815688441160

3. DANCING TO LIVE DRUM BEATS AT MEHANDI (HENNA) CELEBRATION

https://www.facebook.com/LADYJANE62/videos/10153252114701545/?l=2610473460996498368

4.  TRADITIONAL PUNJABI DANCE…NOTICE THE USE OF THE BRAIDED HAIR EXTENSIONS DURING THE DANCE

https://www.facebook.com/LADYJANE62/videos/10153250689691545/?l=2837730209960891909

With much love light and joy to all

Jane

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Back in Rishikesh 2012 Part 2

October 14, 2012

Back in Rishikesh 2012 Part 2

View from Guesthouse at Dusk

I write this as I sit outside in the morning sun which warms my bones after the chill of the evening, night and early morning.  The sun is not too hot to be uncomfortable or prevent hours of happily walking around.  And it’s heat is felt truly for only about 3 hours a day.  It is a beautiful time of the year to be here…before the need for warm clothing, uncomfortable layers etc., of the winter weeks, and without the scorching, debilitating heat of the hotter months.  And of course without the rains of the monsoon.

Everything is still very green and lush and walking around is just complete pleasure.

At night and early morning it is already fairly cold with the strong winds which are so typical of Rishikesh…but of course, the sun rises just over the mountain , (now at 7:20 but it is getting a little later each day), through the window which faces my bed and gently pulls me awake (if I happen to still be asleep), with it’s shining kiss.

And then I sit in it’s warm embrace as I do my morning prayers and meditaion. Could there be any better way to begin a day?

There are of course changes, as there always are in India, and yet things continue to feel like ‘time stands still” in most things.  The first shocking change was a wall which was put up on one side of “my” rooftop by the neighboring hotel, which completely blocks one of my views…very disconcerting but doing my best to come to terms with it.  If you can’t change something, learn to accept it and change your perception of it!

And all the local places are now setting up WiFi which is lovely, but still not truly working well yet.  Perhaps by next year.

And then of course more new rooms, more new guesthouses and a lovely surprise.  My friends who run the wonderful Pundir Provision Shop

Pundir Shop Tapovan Rishikesh , have now opened a restaurant upstairs.  We have eaten their twice and the food was superb!  AND, it is air-conditioned!!!  It was actually so cold we had to ask them to turn it off!  J

But of course tomorrow I am starting Panchakarma, so no more of the lovely food I’ve been eating up until now.  I had my full of yummy stuff over the past few days…am sure I gained at least a kg., and will now be able to settle into my very boring and limited diet for the next month.

And of course hearing the lovely news from my friend Devi that her sister is getting married!  Just wonderful.  This is a family of 5 daughters, the father has not worked in 15 years.  The oldest daughter was already married but the others were sure they would never marry because they would never have enough money for a dowry.  This sister has found an arranged match with a wonderful man who wanted a very limited dowry, just for appearance sake, and everyone is extremely happy as you can imagine.  The bad part is, the wedding is 2 days AFTER I leave.  If I had know, I would have flown in a couple of days later.  I cannot extend for even one day due to problems with my government pension…really sad.  However, the owner of the guesthouse has already invited me to TWO weddings of his niece and nephew, and so once again I will get to go to the production that is called “India Wedding”.  Should be fun.
Indian Wedding

Walking through the streets here is like coming home.  So many friends to see, from local shop keepers, to beggars and rickshaw drivers.  And of course my dear local friends and their families, who I will see often and visit over the weeks to come.

And then, to my great surprise, I am being recognized as a “celebrity” in the area and didn’t understand why.  Seems the guesthouse has finally put up a website, and they used MY photo (from several years ago-don’t know where they got it) as part of the cover photots of the website.  So when I walked around the first day I was hear in my red “suit”, the same one I am wearing in the photo, people were pointing at me until someone finally showed me what was going on.  It is soooooo  funny.   Here is a link and if you check out the dots under the cover photo, you will come to one of me.  You can see me in my red suit on the rooftop and the room behind me to the left is my home here in Rishikesh.  http://newbhandariswisscottage.com

And that’s about if for today.  Hope begin getting out and about and getting back to my camera over the next few days.

View from Guesthouse at Dusk

Namaste

Jane


February 20, 2011 – Hurray!! Panchakarma Day 23

February 20, 2011

February 20, 2011 – Hurray!! Panchakarma Day 23

Again woke up just before 7 with a start and looked outside and found this…I love the sunrise…it is beautiful but lasts literally for seconds….

Well, today I finished what for me is the most difficult part of panchakarma…the water enemas.  I finished my 5th today and from now on it is smooth sailing to the end on Friday.  Just a couple of more oil enemas, but those are child’s play, and now massage every day, some steam bath, shirodhara, basti and just pleasant stuff.  Can’t believe it has gone by so quickly.

And with the weather warmer, at least during the day, life is good.  I’ve been a little tired the past few days but that is normal.  In past years I was exhausted all the time, so 3 days of low energy is really a good sign for me that things are going very well this year.

With the change in weather, the tourists have returned.  Like overnight, the “joint is jumpin’”….the guesthouses are filling up, the restaurants have customers (which means you have to wait much longer for your food), and of course Hebrew is once again heard in the land!  Israelis are back in full and I can tell you, the restaurant owners are in heaven.  No other nation eats as much as Israelis…they order large amounts of food, finish it all, sit around talking, and then order more!

The wedding will finish up tonight and it should be a really big affair.  I heard them testing the sound system just now…and what they chose to test it with, and which really had me laughing, was a Hinid version of the Russian classic song Kalinka (which is a very popular song in Israel as well, as are many Russian original tunes translated into Hebrew by the original immigrants to the Holy Land).  When I mentioned it to an Indian here, his response, not surprising because this is the Indian way of seeing everything in the world, was:  “This is famous ancient Indian song which was copied by other countries”.  This is soooooo typically Indian, but in this case it was really funny as the music is so definitely Russian in origin.

Anyway, it’s been a relaxing day in the sun upon the roof, resting away the hours with reading, napping, needlepoint, cooking delicious vegetable soup, and writing…all outdoors and back to normal.

Hopefully over the next couple of days I will also have my energy back and be able to go out walking again…I am really missing it.

 


February 18-19, 2011 – Interesting Couple of Days-Global Internet Village– Panchakarma Days 21-22

February 19, 2011

February 18-19, 2011 – Interesting Couple of Days-Global Internet Village– Panchakarma Days 21-22

Yummy Home Cooked Lunch

The last couple of days have been interesting, at least for me.  First of all, although it is still chilly, the sun has been shining so I have been able to relax comfortably on my rooftop, as I have been quite tired the last two days, something which is expected, and up until now, I have not felt this year.  So it was lovely to be able to sit out and read, eat, relax, do needlepoint and enjoy the sunshine at the same time.  Cooked my own lunch yesterday as I was finished too early for lunch and didn’t feel like waiting around.  My own food is always the best in the end, but it is nice NOT to have to shop, cook and clean up afterwards.

On the way back I found this:

Wedding at entrance to High Banks-Guarantee of Three Noisey Days and Nights

At the entrance to the area I live in and I knew this meant 3 days of lots of noise.  Last night it began and I am very thankful that I have good earplugs which block out all noise.  Most people up here could not go to sleep until 2 in the morning…tonight and tomorrow it continues!

After eating lunch yesterday, a young girl came up and said she heard about me and wanted to know if she could get a tarot reading and healing session, and I was very happy to be given the opportunity to get back “into things” again.  It was a lovely session and another day came to a lovely end.

Today, being Saturday, while having my herbal tea outside the clinic, I got a few shots of the colorful crowds which converge on Rishikesh on weekends to go down to bathe in the Ganga…

Colorful Saturday Tourists Going Down to Ganga

You can see more shots in this new facebook album of local life scenes:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=271045&id=547896544&l=651ff68ddd

Today while at Dr. Arora’s, another client came in to talk to him and after she explained what she needed, he pointed to me and said “SHE is the expert”.  And thus began a new career for me….transferring, converting, merging and burning videos from a digital camera.  For me it is simple enough to do and the other person was ever so happy.  And while doing that, another YOUNG girl came up, saw my laptop, and asked if I knew how to upload photos…I said yes, but would not allow her to put her data stick into my laptop USB port.  I’ve had too many problems with viruses to take the chance.  So she went to check it out someplace which I recommended, and later, will come up for me to teach her how to compress and upload them!!  Never thought I’d be doing THIS in India!

And now a funny story. I won’t go into details as I don’t want to expose people who might not want exposure, but it seems that a certain yoga instructor in America, who is making her first trip to India with her husband this year, has brought me to the attention of the American public via TV interviews.  Seems she was interviewed on a national network and mentioned how the internet had helped her to arrange her trip to Rishikesh.  Her husband had found MY blog doing a google search and for the last couple of months we have been emailing back and forth.  Well, I HAVE been emailing with a nice man from America who is coming with his wife soon, and thought “could this really be me?!?!?”. It has been a pleasure helping them, as I have helped others coming to India for the first time.  But how did I find out that I was mentioned in her interview?  Well, someone commented on my blog and I asked, as I always do, how they found my blog.  She explained it was after watching a TV interview with a yoga instructor who’s husband had been emailing me regarding their upcoming trip to India…(not by name, by description…a woman from Israel who has a blog about Rishikesh where she has been living for several months a year, every year for the past number of years). So she (the woman who was watching the interview) googled Rishikesh, blog, Israel and lo and behold (!), MY blog turned up!!

I find this all quite amazing to say the least…what a world!

And that’s it for today

Namaste

Jane


February 8, 2011 – Spring Festival, a People Day Photo Shoot Along the Ganga and the Glories of Nature After the Storm

February 9, 2011

February 8, 2011 – Spring Festival, a People Day Photo Shoot Along the Ganga and the Glories of  Nature After the Storm

THere is no way this can do justice to the beauty of this day after the storm

At the moment, 5:30 in the afternoon, I sit outside on my rooftop, facing the lovely green mountains across from me topped by still blue skies. I had a really fun experience along the Ganga today as you will see later in this post.  The air is still comfortably warm, slightly chilly from a breeze, but too comfortable and comforting to move inside.  But let’s go back to last night and begin this day at the beginning….here is what I began writing last night:

It has been thundering and lightning for the past ½ hours and now, a real rain storm has began.  It is lovely to hear and I just stuck my head out the door…it is 9:30 at night…and was treated to the smell of real rain after a very long time.  It is an unmistakable smell which I am sure you all know, and it is lovely.  Hope it rains itself out before morning, but really happy to hear the rain while I am “snug as a bug in a rug” in my room!!.  I used to be terrified of thunder and lightning, but now it is just nice to hear!  And I am going to sleep with the hope of a beautiful, sunny, rain-washed, day tomorrow….

….and I was not disappointed this morning.  The day dawned bright, sunny, and warm.  Warmer than it has been early in the morning since I arrived.  And today was a Festival celebrating the first day of Spring!  Perfect timing.  I had to be at my treatment at 9 am instead of the usual 11, and worried that it would be too cold to go down.  But this morning at 9 was warmer than it has been at 10:30 up until now.  Really lovely change.

I was finished with my treatments today by 10:30 and had the whole beautiful day ahead of me…and I was truly grateful for the opportunity to spend it walking around and taking in the beauty all around me.

The mountains were a lush green and the sky a sparkling blue.  I doubt that the photos I took will do justice to the sensual beauty of the day, but they hopefully will give you some idea of how blessed I am to be here:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=268669&id=547896544&l=0c1234f0f7

And then I decided, since I had the whole day free, to go spend a quiet couple of hours sitting along the ghat on the Ganga.  Well, the Universe had different plans for me for this day…as it turned out to be a “people” day.  I think I had more interaction today with other people than I have had since I arrived here…but it was lovely. On the way down I came across this gate

3 symbols....om, star of david and swastika on entrance gate

and thought it a good opportunity to show you the way all three symbols, Om, Star of David and Swastika are used frequently here for decoration.  It seems incongruous to the Western eye, but remember what I’ve written about these all being ancient Vedic symbols.

I arrived at the ghat, as planned and sat quietly contemplating nothing while staring into the turquoise waters of the ganga, when all of a sudden a swarm of people came walking onto the ghat.  Turns out it was a whole family unit, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, but it was a huge group.

It was only after when I thought about it, that I realized that if MY extended family, all my kids, and their kids, aunts uncles and cousins, came down together to spend a day on the ganga, it would be just as big of a “swarm” of people. The picture above is only part of the women and kids…none of the men approached to join the party and a couple of women stayed apart as well.

I was happy to see them and figured it would give me something to watch while sitting there…all these people laughing and joking and enjoying their bathing…and maybe even get some nice photos, when all of a sudden some of them approached me.  They began to ask if I am also going bathing (this all without spoken language) and I hope they understood my reply that I DO bathe, but not today.  And then the fun began!!

Whenever I want to photograph someone, I will always ask their permission, as many people are not willing to have their photograph taken.  They usually say OK, but I sometimes get a no, so I am always careful about asking first.

Well, apparently, Indians do not feel the need to ask.  Before I knew what was happening, two of the girls sat down next to me, one on either side, and a third began photographing us!  And they switched places until all of them had their picture taken…and thanked me.  So I asked to take their pictures, which they were happy to do as well.

The FIrst Three Courages Girls

Before I realized what was happening, the rest of the family saw what was going on, so for the next 15 minutes, I became the centerpiece for family vacation pictures.    IT was actually fun, and funny, and silly and at some point I began to laugh, and so did they, realizing that it was silly thing to be doing, without ever having asked my permission!!  And they we began talking, with one of the girls who knows a little English doing her best to translate.  They were telling me who belongs to who…my son, my daughter, my sisters daughter, my husband, my sister in law, etc., etc. And then asking about me, my name, my  parents name, my country etc.  And then I asked where they were from, and it seems this is a whole family which came from a nearby village, about 5 hours ride, to spend the day in Rishikesh and celebrate the Spring Festival and bathe in the Ganga.  They were all dressed in festive clothing and it was lovely to see them all enjoying their day out so much.    And then of course, I figured, if they could take all those shots of me, I deserved my share, so asked if I could take THEIR pictures.

Well, not only did they agree, but they fought to get into the shots, making me take more and more and more, and then giggling when they saw themselves on the camera screen.  All in all it was a fun hour and a half.

And then we parted ways and I went to have my lunch, in quiet.  To my surprise, that was also not to be, as I heard a couple speaking Hebrew and turned around to say “hello” to them….and wound up talking with them for another hour.  Lovely middle-aged people, from a town just near mine, on their first trip to India and spending a month here.

Him having a wonderful time…her barely managing not to kill him for bringing her here!!!

It also seems to be wedding season here, as everyone has weddings to attend…(that’s the reason I had to be at my treatment so early this morning…the girls had to leave early – each for a different wedding party-  Devi had also been to one last night, in the rain, where she danced until 1 in the morning…I asked how people dance in the rain – she said she only went out to dance after 11 when the rain stopped, but she said the other people, mostly men, drink until they get drunk and then don’t even know it is raining and just dance – and she did a pantomime of them doing this which was very funny!! – she also said she is eating too much and “I am too much fat, but good fat, not chicken”)…

wedding tent

Anyway…it seems wedding parties are springing up anywhere there is an empty space and here is one I came across on my way home today…notice if you can in the pictures, the cow joining in the festivities!

 

NOTICE THE COW

And then back to my room to enjoy more lovely sunshine.  A couple of people have approached me to ask if I could teach them Reiki, and I asked them to come around this evening.  I have to give this some thought.  I could certainly use the money but not quite sure I want this intense interruption of my panchakarma time.  I’ll seen when they show up.

Right now more hawks are sailing overhead , while the rest of the birds are making a racket just before calling it a night.  The sun is down, but it is still light and still warm enough to sit out here comfortably.  I don’t actually see sunsets from my room, but today the mountain actually reflected the sunset if you can see it in the picture below:

And at the same time, the new moon had risen….

Life is good.

Enjoy the rest of the photos on the facebook link.

Namaste

Jane


Videos and Life Updates – July 31, 2010

July 31, 2010

No, I’m not back in India. Still in Israel with many changes in my life…all beautiful, including new grandchild (number 12) and new love – the soul mate I’ve been waiting 63 years for….life is a true blessing and a true miracle!
Just to let you know that I’ve updated the VIDEO page which you can find in the tab on the upper toolbar. Lots of new videos from India which I’ve concentrated in one place to make it easier to find and enjoy.

Those are the two updates for now….hope to be back here regularly sometime at the beginning of 2011

Namaste
Jane


Personal Insights from the Wedding Adventure-Nov 2009

November 3, 2009

Personal Insights from the Wedding Adventure

Two issues were tested at this wedding and I past with flying colors:

  1. My problem with expressing joy outwardly without being embarrassed and worrying about what others may think of me…thereby curtailing most of the fun I could have in most situations
  2. My tendency to always imagine everything that could possibly go wrong or be difficult in a particular situation involving going someplace, especially spontaneously  – outing, trip, unexpected invitation, anything which is not part of my routine activities basically.– thinking of every reason NOT to do something instead of focusing on every good reason to go ahead and simply enjoy. This is particularly strange because on a daily level, I actually do not worry about anything.  Most people worry all the time, about the fundamental things in their lives…health, money, children, relationships, a roof over their heads, the car, the dog, their jobs etc. etc.  I,  on the other hand, NEVER worry about any of this stuff.  I have complete FAITH in God and His Universe that I will always be provided with all I need, and never give a thought to the possibility that something “bad” will happen in these fundamental areas of my life.  My daily life is completely relaxed and unstressed, I flow with whatever comes my way, believe that whatever happens is exactly what should be happening for my Higher Good, I sleep well, never concern myself with all the things which seem to keep other people continually occupied with the “what ifs” of their lives, and seems to keep them in a state of constant stress and tension…all to no good purpose.  So this “thing” of mine with dealing with these small, pretty much insignificant events in my life, has always been confusing, and most annoying to say the least. It is the main reason why I have not done any significant traveling around India (except for my first visit), and why I basically stay put in one place, in my routine.  Perhaps this too will be changing…and that would be great fun for me-something to look forward to,

So, just exactly how I found myself dancing away on the dance floor at this Indian wedding, a type of dancing I had never done before, or imagined myself ever doing?

Well, let me first

Read the rest of this entry »


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