India, North, Slice of Life, Spiti

Postcards from Spiti

A land where imaginations find wings and hopes are restored that this Earth indeed is an awe-inspiring place and one need only leave their comfort to find it. Three peaks with glaciers at the pass where the wind howls loud and strong. "Make a wish and stick a coin", that was a simple instruction from… Continue reading Postcards from Spiti

India, North, Slice of Life, Spiti

Faces of Spiti

Just like the essence of this land, its people embody the joy and resilience, core to life. Tsering (right) and Yangkit (left) work the fields against the backdrop of gorgeous snow-capped mountains. The day in these villages start early with milking the cows, cooking, working the fields, and returning to household chores again, including caring… Continue reading Faces of Spiti

India, North, Spiti

A Tiny Infinity – Lahaul & Spiti

It has been more than a year and I have tried numerous times to put ink to paper in expressing those few days spent in the lap of absolute bliss. At first, it was the reverence and notion that putting any words to it might violate what I experienced in those mountains, and later, as… Continue reading A Tiny Infinity – Lahaul & Spiti

India, Kannur, South

Kannangattu Bhagavathi Theyyam

The Kannangattu Bhagavathi Theyyam captured the essence of the Devi with such perfection that for a moment when I first looked at the performance, I almost forgot to use my camera.  Through the entire dance, where the Theyyam went around the Kavu, whirling to the soft beats of the drums, I sat mesmerised at the… Continue reading Kannangattu Bhagavathi Theyyam

India, Kannur, South

Vasoorimaala Theyyam

In a trance-like state, moving and swaying rhythmically, the Vasoorimaala Theyyam had an utmost calm on his face.  Even though as a man, depicting a goddess, the Theyyam personified the essence of the Divine Feminine energy with the grace, calm, yet a power that seemed to emanate from his very being.  During the initial few… Continue reading Vasoorimaala Theyyam

India, Kannur, South

Bhairavan Theyyam

The Bhairavan Theyyam had already finished his performance and was sitting in the grove dispensing blessings to the gathered crowd, by the time we arrived.  Orange painted face, with yellow marked forehead, eyes covered with silver ornaments, and two silver pincers attached to the puffed-up cheeks.  He sat there in all the regalia, but what… Continue reading Bhairavan Theyyam

India, Kannur, South

Sasthappan (Kuttichathan) Theyyam

Sasthappan, also known as Kuttichathan were two Theyyams that were dressed identically and performed the rituals, simultaneously.  Wearing elongated rectangular waist adornments, they covered their eyes with silver ornaments, with only a small hole to look through.  Their headgear consisted of two wooden flaps on either side of their cheeks.  However, it was the peacock… Continue reading Sasthappan (Kuttichathan) Theyyam

India, Kannur, South

Vishnumoorthi Theyyam

The Vishnumoorthi Theyyam was the most elaborate preparation that we witnessed.  This day-time performance gave us a glimpse into each little detail that goes into the making of every single Theyyam.  We were privy to the makeup along with the several layers of clothing made from areca nut leaves that started at the chest and… Continue reading Vishnumoorthi Theyyam

India, Kannur, South

Puliyoor Kali Theyyam

When personifying the goddesses as Theyyams, it is still the menfolk that perform the ritualistic dance.  They invoke the Divine Feminine energies and dress as the goddesses to bring the stories to life.  This mid-day performance was special as we had a chance to witness the makeup and dressing up of the Theyyam.  The face… Continue reading Puliyoor Kali Theyyam

India, Kannur, South

Kathivanur Veeran Theyyam

This Theyyam was another night-time ritual that involved a play with fire, albeit without jumping into the flames.  Dressed in the traditional colours of the performance and a headgear that enhanced the presence, this Theyyam started with cooing and talking to the stack of fire in the middle of the grove, to the steady beat… Continue reading Kathivanur Veeran Theyyam