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…

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…

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…

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…

Theyyams: A Dance Divine

The December air is sticky with perspiration, as mosquitoes buzz around and fly into our faces, like little drunks who have lost the way, in the thick vegetation on either side of the narrow mud road we are traversing on.  A numb thumping of the drums in the distance breaks through the 2 a.m. darkness…

Edinburgh

A hedonistic mix of old and new, this city is a soothing amalgamation of beauty and bliss.  Everywhere that the eyes turn, there is a flurry of history and interesting sounds and smells – from a bagpiper to the classic haggis. A bagpiper near The High Kirk, making the gloomy day brighter!

Sauntering Across London

Having a long free weekend is a blessing in London, especially if the skies are not a dreary grey and there is a hint of sun.  Autumn welcomes you in every corner and during this time of the year, the festive spirit just about starts creeping in.

The Soul of Kashi

In Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound”. It’s a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards and forwards, it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. ~ Don Draper This is the…

A Rustic Akhara

In a bylane of Banaras, we went to witness the age-old tradition that is still kept alive in these parts of the country – an akhara.  The traditional wrestling format imbibes the spirit of guru-shishya traditions.  In the early hours of the morning, seeing these athletes in action was an experience like never before.  

Dev Diwali

Varanasi celebrates Dev Diwali – Diwali of the Gods, which takes place 15 days after the usual Diwali festival on the full moon day.  Morning sees the devotees swarm the riverbank to take a dip in the holy river and as the sun sets, the ghats are lit up with a million tiny lamps to honour the…