Fond memories of Ghoomar Dance then & Now Padmavati!

Most amazingly rendered by versatile actor and Dancing Diva (Indeed no other actor is close to her in this art) Deepika Padukone, Ghoomar Dance has lifted the mood of movie buffs like me, after a long time. (Read: Mastani song & mohe rang de laal in Bajirao Mastani). The slightly over three minutes song sees the diva performing the Rajasthani folk dance to the hilt. Buzz is that the actress did as many as 66 twirls in the duration of the entire song while donning her heavy attire and jewellery. The song is sung by Shreya Ghoshal and Swaroop Khan while the lyrics are penned by A M Turaz and Rajasthani lyrics are by Swaroop Khan. Kruti Mahesh Midya and Ghoomar training artist by Jyothi D Tommaar made Deepika learn the craft to perfection. Can’t wait for December 1. Would watch it for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s histrionics and Deepika’s Ghoomer and bada phatakaa – Ranveer Singh!

Not to miss, unsurmountable Rajasthani Culture & History!

After watching the release of the first song of the highly anticipated movie of the year Padmavati,  directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions, slated to release on 1st December 2017, the memories of Ghoomar Dance danced before my eyes…

…Me as a kid performed Ghoomar Dance in Kala Milan Samaroh at my father’s Office Cultural Day celebrations in the presence of Late Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi. The rehearsals lasted for over a month conducted by very strict dance teacher Rathore Sir (Term Choreographer was not known then).  Indeed the result was smashing! Everybody loved the dance performed by daughters of BHEL employees. I must admit that it was the most rehearsed dance I had done ever, so much so, that mummy asked me to quit mid-way as my studies suffered. But for me, Ghoomar was above everything then.

Ghoomar is a traditional folk dance of Rajasthan, India. The dance is chiefly performed by veiled women who wear flowing dresses called Ghaghara. It was ranked 4th in the list of “Top 10 local dances around the world” in 2013. The dance typically involves performers pirouetting while moving in and out of a wide circle. The word ghoomna describes the twirling movement of the dancers and is the basis of the word ghoomar. This dance form is mainly prevalent among the Rajput community and is chiefly performed by Rajput women during auspicious and joyous occasions in Rajasthan. Ghoomar is often performed on special occasions, such as at weddings and during weddings, festivals and religious occasions which sometimes lasts for hours.

In Ghoomar, women dance in circles with graceful moves and display their colourful ghagharas. Hence the dance form is aptly named as Ghoomar. The women dance with amazing precision, even as their face is covered with a veil, while they carry the lighted lamp. Innumerable twirls and turns mark this dance form, which is quite close to Jaipur Gharana of Kathak.

Goomar can be performed by women of any age group. This dance form also known by the name of ‘Jhumar’ involves swaying movements and is indeed simple to perform. The enthusiasm of the performer is the sole requirement of the dance as it can continue from few hours till late nights.

Ghoomar is usually done during the Teej festivities. However, it’s also performed during other festivals and important occasions. Ghoomar is extremely rhythmic to perform and the dancers have to move around in circular motion with clockwise and anticlockwise steps being taken in tandem. The tempo of Ghoomar reaches its peak as synchronization of steps with music is done.

Considered to be a traditional ritual of Rajasthan, this dance is also performed by the bride after she is welcomed at her husband’s home.

So for the enchatress Deepika Padukone performing Ghoomer, head to theatres on December 1.









Chhath Puja, in obeisance of Sun God!

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The Juhu Beach in Mumbai will be decked up yet again as lakhs of devotees mainly from North India (read: UP & Bihar) gather at Mumbai beach of performing Puja.  BMC has kept a tight vigil along the entire coastal line of the city and has made special arrangements. A danger line has been drawn beyond which the devotees would not be allowed to enter the sea. Like every year, this year too programs have been organized which included singing for the sun devotees along with other arrangements. Visit Juhu beach 5:30 PM onwards to observe festive fervous in all its glory and beauty!

It is believed that the celebration of Chhath puja may predate to the ancient Vedas, as the rituals performed during the puja are similar to the ones mentioned in Rig Veda, in which the Sun god is worshipped. At the time, the rishis (sages) were also known to worship the Sun and remain without the intake of good as they would obtain their energy directly from the Sun.

सूर्य देव की उपासना का पर्व छठ शुरू हो चुका है। चार दिन तक चलने वाले इस त्योहार में भगवान सूर्य की आराधना की जाती हैं। 24 अक्टूबर को नहाय खाय के साथ शुरू हुआ ये पर्व सप्तमी को उगते सूर्य को अर्घ्य देने के साथ ही समाप्त होगा। इस पर्व में भगवान सूर्य की पूजा का काफी महत्व है। पहला अर्घ्य आज अस्त होते सूरज को दिया जाएगा। आज षष्ठी के दिन व्रतीजल में उतरकर डूबते सूरज को अर्घ्य देंगे।

पूजन विधि – अर्घ्य देने के लिए बांस के सूप में सभी प्रकार के फल रखकर उसे पीले कपड़े से ढ़क दें और डूबते सूरज को तीन बार अर्घ्य दें।

अर्घ्य देने का शुभ समय – सायंकालीन अर्घ्य- 26 अक्टूबर (गुरुवार)
सायंकालीन अर्घ्य का समय :- सांय काल 05:40 बजे से शुरू

प्रात:कालीन अर्घ्य: 27 अक्टूबर (शुक्रवार) – प्रात:कालीन अर्घ्य का समय: प्रात: 6.28 बजे से शुरू

Chhath festival, one of the most ancient and revered Hindu festivals, is celebrated with much fervour primarily in northern parts of India. It is also believed that Chhath is the only surviving Vedic festival observed in the country at present. If legends are to be believed, Chhath was first observed by Drapaudi, a mythological character from the Epic Mahabharata. During this time, devotees observe a four-day fast and offer prayers to the Sun God. The rituals involved in the Chhath puja celebrations are quite rigorous and apart from fasting, it also includes holy bathing and standing in water for long hours. Devotees offer prasad and arghya to the rising and setting sun.

Chhath Puja is an important Hindu festival that is mainly celebrated in Bihar and some regions of Nepal. The puja is dedicated to the worship of the Sun god and his wife Usha. During the occasion, devotees perform puja to thank god for supporting life on earth and seek the divine couple’s blessing. However, Chhath – the main day – isn’t the first day but the third day of the puja and, this year it is celebrated today – October 26.

According to Hindu religion, the Sun is believed to heal many severe health conditions and ensure longevity, prosperity, progress and well-being. People celebrate the festival by following a rigorous routine that lasts four days. The rituals include: fasting (including abstinence from drinking water), holy bathing, offering prayers to the rising and setting sun, and meditating by standing in water.

In addition to Bihar, many other states such as Jharkhand, eastern UP, regions of Nepal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh also celebrate the festival with great fervour. Chhath Puja is so called as it is celebrated on the sixth day of the month of Karthika in the Vikram Samvat. It is also celebrated in the summers, some days after Holi. However, Karthika month’s Chhath is more ardently followed by people.

However, another sign of the puja is attached to the story of Lord Rama.

According to ancient texts, Rama and his wife Sita had kept fast and offered prayers to the Sun god, in the month of Kartika in Shukla Paksha, once they returned to the Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. From then on, the Chhath Puja became a significant and traditional Hindu festival, which is celebrated with zeal and zest every year.

The four-day festival starts four days after Diwali.  This is how the devotees observe the festival.

Nahay Khay: The first day of Chhath Puja, devotees take a dip, preferably in the Kosi river, Karnali and Ganga, and carry home the holy water to prepare the offerings.

Lohanda: The second day, the devotees observe a fast for the whole day, which ends in the evening a little after sunset. After worshipping the Sun and the Moon, they prepare offerings of kheer, bananas and rice for their family. After consuming the offering, they fast for 36 hours without water.

Sandhya Arghya (evening offerings): After preparing the prasad, the devotees take a dip in the holy water body in the evening and worship the Sun god and Chhathi maiyya. They offer the evening offerings amid folk songs.

Usha Arghya: The fourth day, devotees go to the holy waters and offer morning offerings or ‘Usha arghya’ to the sun, following which they break their fast.

Chhath Parv ki anekon shubhkamnayein!