Category Archives: LifeEvent

Chaitra Gauri Haldi kunku

Chaitra embarks beginning of new year for Maharashtrians.  “Gudi Padwa/Ugadi/Baisakhi” are celebrated in this month.

Nature renews itself in this month. We will see new leafs sprouting in this month, some trees are already covered with light green color leafs. This is also the season of mangoes, oranges, grapes, water and musk melon.

In Maharashtrian  Brahmins they have a tradition of celebrating “chaitra-gauri haldi kunku”. Traditionally, married women would invite all the other married women in the neighborhood for celebrating chaitra together. In this celebration, they would pamper their friends with Jasmine(Mogra) gajras, they would make “Kairi panhe(raw mango mixed with jaggery to make a cold drink) and serve with “dal-kairi”. Dal-kairi is made of raw mangoes with harbara dal.  This to me seems like an networking technique.  Serve what is available in that season and locally.

I love to celebrate anything and everything that takes me back to roots. And for last two years I have been celebrating this.  This also gives me an opportunity  to revamp my connections in today’s so called busy life.

There is a ritual associated with this, wherein Lordess Annapurna and the Kuldevi is work shipped.  They would decorate the swing with Jasmine and make the Lordess sit in it.

Different people use different themes every year. And I am one of them.  I too made use of lot of flowers and raw mangoes for my celebrations.  Chat is all time favorite and good to have in Summers which is why I thought of having it in my menu.

Everybody is very talented, hence these are the events where I promote my amazingly talented friends.  My youngest friend @veda playing Violin.

My beautiful friend @kalpana performing some part of Geet-Ramayan.

The dress code was “anything in green”

I thought of adding my Chaitra Gauri-2019 here itself. This years theme was “Gajj-gamini” and the dress code was “anything in yellow”

Gajj-gamini meaning Lordess sitting on Elephant.

 

It was so good to see all my friends dressed up “yellow”

With so much heat outside, I decided to have “barf-gola” in my menu.

Here is the link to the  invite that I used for this program. I hope you enjoyed reading.. Any feedback is appreciated.

 

 

An interview with Sucheta Adkar of Indrani group-Mangala Gauriche Khel

Mangala Gauriche khel are played as part of a Maharashtrian Brahmin tradition for the newlyweds. These games are becoming very popular due to availability of various groups in various cities of the state.


 These groups are available at various cost based on the credibility and content of the program. I met many groups and they have wiped out all my biases. Out of the many such groups, one of the recent ones is “Indrani”. The composition of the group is interesting as it consists of women from various age groups, some are home-makers and some working women lead by “Sucheta Adkar”.

Sucheta is an engineer by degree and an Entrepreneur by profession. She runs a media and events company with her spouse. Extremely stylish and honest, she is a  graduate in kathak dance too.

How come an Engineer became such an active member of “Indrani” or rather how did she join Indrani was my question to her after the introduction session?
“As a Child, I was born and brought up in Chinchwad. We use to have lot of festivals celebrated in the morya mandir. Lot of Mangala gauri khel use to be played and lot of Jagrans also used to happen unlike the programs that happen today. I use to go to these Jagrans and enjoyed the food served. In that process I learnt few. After my marriage, I joint few classes and learnt them to gain more experience” says Sucheta.

They are 12 members group only, and have been running the same for 7-8 years now. Not everybody in the group is a home maker, In fact it is my pleasure to introduce you to her group members briefly. I am extremely proud of the fact, that the members in the group have their own responsibilities at home, and work front yet they dedicated so much of their time to retain our culture.

Indrani has performed around 450 programs in various cities of Maharashtra and they have performed in Goa too. They have performed in non-Maharashtrian functions as well.

How about the presentation part for the group?

“At Indrani, we all are well to do, and being part of this group is passion for us. We put all our efforts in making our presentation glamourous retaining the authencity of the games. Everybody is enthusiast and has multiple costumes with Jewellery” adds Sucheta.

About the program design and content, they modified it based on the function in which they perform.
Infact she told me that they could combine “Yoga” with the mangala Gauriche khel for one of their celebrations on the “International Yoga day’. The concept was very well appreciated

As few of the members are dancers, they also had performed in a program showcasing various dance forms of Maharashtra called “Gandha Maticha” .

“We are very happy, and fortunate to be doing this for the community as it is taking something from the older generations and passing it to the newer one” says Sucheta

Festivals and more wishes all the best to all these gorgeous ladies and May God bless them.
Incase you want to get intouch with Sucheta’s group please write to me at  sdimber@gmail.com.  Also, If you know of any group who has been performing “mangala Gauriche khel” and would like to appreciate them, then please ping me.

Snippet of Interview :

 

 

 

 

An Interview with “kanchan Mule” of Swanandi Group-Mangala Gauriche Khel

With an excellent response for my earlier blog on “mangala Gauriche khel“,  I was inspired to write more about those working in that area.

Couple of my next blogs will see exclusive interviews with those who have worked relentlessly and taken our culture to a level which they themselves never thought of.

Today, I got an opportunity to meet someone who inspired me in her own way. She is the one who started the group called “Swanandi” who performs mangala gauriche khel and has been managing the same for 25+ years.

Kanchan(Mausami) Mule is 64 years now, and when I saw her I  was amazed.

Kanchan Kaku as I call her fondly, is born and brought up in Pune. She completed her schooling from “Gopal high school” and graduation in B.A(Marathi) from Sir Purshottam College (SP college).

She inherited music from her father “Bal Mate” and was very active in sports since her childhood. “I just can’t sit at one place and need to do  something or other” says Kanchan Kaku while serving me the tea.

When I asked her “where did you learn Mangala Gauriche Khel from”? She smiled and said that she used to participate  in every Mangala Gaur program that used to happen in neighborhood and simply absorb by observing. There is no Guru as such or one person to whom she can give the credit to.

In today’s date Swanandi has already performed 661 programs at various occasions like Dohale Jevan, Mehendi, Barsa and other political gatherings including the Shravani Tuesdays and hopes to complete 700 shows in this season.

They have traveled all cities in Maharashtra and have also showcased their talent in Goa and Rajasthan. “If the host is willing to pay for our Travel and accommodation” we can travel anywhere.

Swanandi does not like time limits imposed on them while performing, as that is unfair to every person in the group. They have a pre-decided sequence and any change in time allotment disturbs their entire performance. However, performing for so many years have helped them learn the way to overcome any challenges they come across.

Having performed with Smita Talwalkar and Madhu Kambikarji, Kanchan Kaku feels herself as fortunate and blessed.

She has about 40 ladies of different age group, financial background, and profession performing with her. She has shared her skill with almost 2000+ ladies so far and is well connected with most of them.

Some of them join for fun, some with the thought to retain our culture and some for source of income is what she mentioned. They practice throughout the year and now each person in the group is a pro.

“We don’t perform for money, but we do need it to manage our costumes and other logistics though. Swanandi has got immense respect, love and success which is more important than the remuneration paid to us” says she.

She writes her own scripts for compering, designs the games per program requirement and sometimes on the spot, choreograph the sequence and make sure program is catchy. She does this while managing her own household and understanding every team members problems/aspirations.

While we were talking, I looked around and found her beautiful picture in Navari saree and was amazed as she had done modelling for “Swamini-shop”.

I asked her if I could get a softcopy. She did not have one as it was taken sometime back when digital world did not exist. I used my phone and created a soft copy. I could see her blushing when I told her that I will whatsapp her the image

It is so difficult to find out such dynamos who believe in growing and doing something for our culture. Who have the vision to take it to every door if they could and we at festivals and more salute such power houses…

Kanchan Kaku may “Swanandi” achieve all the heights it can!!!

 
Snippet of the Interview:

Also, it can be found at

Anaahat-Grand launch of Music Circle!!!

Swarsangam foundation in association with Umbilical Connections Events Pvt. Ltd are organising a event. The event will see launch of a music circle called “Anaahat” which promises one musical concert every quarter(small/big scale). The intention of music circle is to promote indian classical music . The launch will be at the hands of Ustad. Taufiq Qureshi who will also perform in the event.

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Also, the evening will see performances by Shri. Shrinivas Joshi,

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Pt. Rajan kulkarni and his son Sarang kulkarni,

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Pt. Ramdas Palsule and Shri. Omkar Dalvi.

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The entry to event is free, but is restricted to pass holders and invitees.So do join to witness the unheard sounds  of Sarod, jembe, Tabla, Pakhwaj with Vocals.

My First #ZomatoMeetup

Krustys Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I  have been writing reviews on Zomato for years now. That was just to share my food experiences with others and no other expectations.IMG_0502 However, one fine day I got a call from “vaishanavi Meghe” who is a community engagement leader at Zomato.  She is the part of team who organizes Zomato meetups.

IMG_0500When she invited I had no clue as to what happens at the meetup. I might have declined her invites for about 3 times in row and could not resist the fourth one. This was hosted by Zomato at Krusty’s, KP-Pune.

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Being in KP, it was comparatively nearby for me. The invite was for a Dinner.

There were about 7-8 super foodies from Pune at the meetup, whom I could have never met otherwise.

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The Zomato team ensured that we all are comfortable with the location, with the food options and all other aspects to make it a good experience for the foodies.

Being a vegetarian for that day, the number of veggie options was almost equal to nonveg options.

IMG_0486We were offered about 15-16 items from the menu right from Welcome drink to dessert.I had never had such delicious, mouthwatering pizzas, pastas and raviolis before. The desserts were truly icing on the top.

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This was the first time I was visiting Krustys, and trust me I would have never visited the place as it was not known to me. However, I regret not being there earlier as they have fantastic food options.

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They mostly deal in pizzas, pastas and sandwiches with some mouth watering desserts. They keep changing their menu every season to accommodate the seasonal variety w.r.t veggies and fruits.

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While talking to Vidya and Rohan who are owners of Krustys we realized how difficult it is to run a restaurant. We could speak to them right from the recipe to hiring processes and they answered all the questions very honestly.

IMG_0489The best part that I liked about the entire evening was the experiences shared by Vidya. She is a dynamite and an excellent cook.

IMG_0495She shared with us the philosophy “When you invite someone home, you should offer them what is home-made. Be it dal-chawal, you don’t want to show them that you can afford food from hotel”….

IMG_0496That was the learning for me apart from the delicious food I had right from pizzas, raviolis, pastas to the chocolate orange pudding she prepared by her own hands.

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Thanks to #ZomatoMeetup again.

Hoping to attend few more.

 

Review: Shakuntala @Avavaya Contemporary dance festival

I had never attended a dance festival as such. I always thought it would be something as shown in “Dil to pagal he” where they keep dancing on some theme. A big thanks to “Bhinoy Japher” for inviting us to a Contemporary dance festival called “Avavaya”.
Bhinoy is known to me as multitalented person who has a good mastery over dance. He briefed about the theme which they had planned for. It was a based on “Shakuntala”. I had seen different version of Shakuntala be it on Television, college plays, Bharatanatyam performance or a musical concert.
The show was hosted in Shamrao Kalmadi high school on 19th April 2015. They have a huge auditorium which caters the needs of a dance festival. We were half an hour late (as usual ;-)). When we reached “high kicks group” were performing. It took me some time to soak the happening.
After half an hour there was an announcement about “Shakuntala” by Space studios. I was all eager and excited to watch the same. The opening was by immensely sparkling dance performance depicting Walmiki and Menka‘s love story which gives birth to “Shakuntala”. The actress performing Shakuntala was dressed in red and was very good at her dialogue delivery. Swapnil Dagliya was performing Dushantya and “Bhinoy” played Yaksha.. The costumes were well planned and explained the characters well.

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The romantic dance sequences between Shakuntala and Dushantya were very well choreographed and explained their chemistry well. The play was in Hinglish and easily understandable to one and all. The dialogues were written extremely well. Lights and sound combinations were well planned.
Entries and exits for the characters were too good. I loved the entry which Bhinoy took. He just jumped from the audience and everybody was startled.
And last but not the least the underlying truth “Shakuntala and love Lust” extremely well put up. Many congratulations and applaud to entire team for putting up such a well-planned show.
Great job folks!!
Other information and photos can be picked from the link:
https://www.facebook.com/Dancefestivalpune?fref=photo

International women’s day celebration to Umbilical Connections..

Being in IT for 12+ years, participating in every activity held or organizing events for colleagues made me realize that managing events makes me happy. To take it to next level I seeked advises from 100s of known, few unknown and few who had done the same before. On thought over for 7 years finally I felt that it has to start and perhaps the early the better it is. How to Register an event company is going to be another blog, but here I m putting down my thoughts, my experiences while managing  my first event and  very important  “attitude of people” towards me while taking these steps!

I always wanted to begin events with something either for children or women. Considering that in mind and talking with few other like minded we thought of celebrating 8th march which is international women’s day. Initially it was something using Rangoli, but then lot of art galleries denied putting up Rangoli.

Completely demotivated, I dropped the idea thinking it is not possible. I did not think about it until I met few very respectable personalities and who are very experienced in their own businesses. They motivated me to rethink the idea. By that time February was half passed.

Rethinking got me a clearer and doable plan. The first thing I did was booked a venue. Luckily, I got a fantastic venue location wise, facility wise and perfect for the intended event. The idea was to get renowned women from different walks of life. I started calling people I knew, started asking friends for their connections and so on. Lot of them encouraged and  so many  of them cautioned. Some of them accompanied me  and some ignored.

Challenges:

Inviting people to come down for the event is toughest job. And when you are beginner it is all the more difficult. Being optimistic using all the possible ways I could invited about 100-120 people in person.


Simultaneously, I looked for sponsorer . As difficult it is to convince people to come for a program it is equally difficult to convince sponsorer to give money. Few of the people who knew me reverted. I knew that I had to invest some capital from my side so just went ahead with whatever plan I had in my mind.

What worked well!!

For talk session and performances i invited my friends who were already into communications/ counselling/NGOs and they really liked the idea. They were very excited to be part of the event. With some ads on social media and through word of mouth we did whatever we could to brand.

Execution:

finally the day arrived, and my stomach had butterflies. I could feel the anxiety.


We begin on time as we were fortunate to have guest before time.  Right from felicitation to panel discussion the sessions went well.


We had a scrumptious meal break and we started the sessions for parenting.


That was the most interactive session and then we had some emotional role plays. At the end we created a group called “umbilical connections” for creating a stroner network. Overall it was amazing time spent.

Best part:

The guest Pinal Wankhede( Dr. silver utopian pvt. Ltd, Zareen  Cheema(inspires to be astronaut), Ubhe Maushi and Laigude maushi(from NGO), Panchalli Thatte(athlete) and Indira were extremely modest and true inspiration. The presenters Bhinoy, Reena, Rajani and Ankita kept the crowd engrossed. Vinod and Suhas took memorable pictures.  Overall a decent put up.


Lessons learnt:

I felt sad for people  who said yes and did not turn up. I personally feel that we need to be a little-courteous. How difficult it is for one to drop an SMS / note? There are efforts behind a public event and it is matter of credibility “my-credibility” in front of sponsorers/chief guest.  As a friend I would never do this to any one.

Chalte Chalte:

Never mind there is always another event to make  up for. :d having said that please do not ignore me next time I walk to you thinking  I am inviting you for some event :d it would be just for  a hi..

For a friend’s wedding

Weddings are always exciting for various reasons. IMG_2949

To me it is exciting because there is so much of décor, so many rituals, and so many people involved with so much of energy.. the + energy!!

I was invited to do  décor for a friend’s wedding, something that could be done @ their home.

IMG_2952They have a beautiful bungalow located @Kothrud, Pune. IMG_2953

Which gave me opportunity to draw a nice big Rangoli at the entrance. IMG_2951

Another one with Samai as an Artifact at the landing, IMG_2945

 

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And one more in the living area.IMG_2940

They had nice brass artifact, which we decorated further.

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And this lovely Diya in the staircase.. said it all. WELCOME ALL!!

 

!! मंगळा-गौरीचे खेळ (Mangala Gauri Khel)!!

!!मंगळा-गौरीचे खेळ !!
When I was an active member of Sanskar-bharti I use to travel with my group for Mangla-gauri che khel in Shravan. I was than fascinated by the same and could relate to it only after my marriage.
Mangla-gaur is celebrated by some of the maharastrain Brahmin families. It is celebrated by the newly married women for long life of husband and well-being of the family. It is done on every Tuesday of Shravan month. Ideally she has to do the same for first 5 years of marriage. But nowadays families keep it to first year only. . The women has to do puja of Mangla-gaur(a roop of Parvati devi), fast for the entire day and then later in evening do Arti with other women folk in family and neighborhood. Years ago they use to spend entire night singing, playing games and dancing. These games were different from everyday games and are named as “mangla-gaur che khel”.

I saw many blogs on this topic and thought that i should also share my experience about the same. In my first year of marriage I did not celebrate the festival due to various reasons. In second year, however I was pretty enthusiast about the same. I did not had exact idea of the entire process as such and had to call up my friends . After speaking with 2-3 of them, I felt that is such a interesting function. For some it is just a ritual, but we try to understand the essence behind it we understand that is was a very good reason for a “ladies day out”. 😉 And give them a break (may be a small one)from daily chores.

I wanted to follow the ritual as it is, but wanted to customize it little so that the idea of that “small break” remained!. I called up Madhuri Tai from Sanskar-Bharti. “I would like to specifically mention here that SANSKAR BHARTI is doing an amazing job of conserving our traditions. A group of ladies from Sasnkar bharti practice these khel prior to 2-3 months of shravan every year and then perform at functions.” Nowadays they have started performing the same at various functions and not just the shravani Tuesdays as such.

I drafted an email and invited all my friends .There was an amazing response to the program which I did not expect at all. I got excellent and encouraging comments for organizing the same. All the women folk were happy to see such a event planned.

To add more fun, we organized the “best maharashtrian dressed” competition and asked all the ladies(guest) to dress up in maharastrain traditional wear. About 80% of the guest turned up in beautifully dressed navaris and nuth..

The group came on time and started the program with Ganesh vandana, followed by common games like jhimma/fugadi. Later the games were a little complicated and scary but very interesting. I was very happy to see all of them enjoying and having fun.
After the program we had arranged for snacks.. and tree plantation activity. With concrete jungles all over and nuclear families, such events are surely going to get us closer to people and nature apart from tradition.
PS: Incase you wish to plan your Mangla-gaur or want to invite these groups for any of your functions, I have lot of contacts with various groups in Pune.
 Please email me on sdimber@gmail.com
(Photo Courtesy: Sheetal Dimber Ghule)


Diwali-2013

Diwali the festival of lights. And I am glad that this Diwali is special to me for many reasons.

IMG_0581One of the reason is an antique samai. I m so fond of antiques and everybody around me knows the same..

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Perhaps that’s the reason my father-in-law gifted me Samai.

IMG_0596They were bought by his mother and has a date stamp, they are almost 80+ year old. I am madly in love with them.

IMG_0600Happy Diwali everyone!!