Thursday, October 22, 2009

Navrathri in Madurodam - Euro Trip 9


Near the Noordeinde Palace, The Hague - Holland.
I was born to a devoted priest in a traditional south Indian family (where following rituals meant more than life itself). Since then, I have come a long way with respect to religion and quest of God. I kneel to Virgin Mary, Bow in direction of Mecca, Meditate on Buddha, Pray for healing to Quanin and Chant the names of Shiva. For I see her smile in crescent; I see her beauty in flowers of meadows. Her sun warms my soul and rain quenches my thirst.

Click to see the saint sculputers above the windows, Madurodam
I founded my own religion by gathering the best of all. One that helps to live a life filled with gratefulness, Harmony, Love and Empathy for every being. My dad and mom had made peace with it, but my relatives couldn’t understand or accept it. One cousin asked how dare I am to keep Jesus next to Krishna. He firmly believes that I have lost my roots.

A rock concert, the dolls waved the stage had vidoes and music!
Festivities is big part of my religion, be it Christmas or Deepavali, I am game. But living away from home definitely takes away the interest of celebrating festivals (I say if you can’t cook dishes exactly like your mom, then forget it.). This Deepavali was just a Saturday.

 Every nook and coner of Madurdom is well connected with trains.
The most I do is have meals with friends and visit temple. But little India (in Singapore) gets crowded to unbearable limit. So I conveniently stick to this thought of “Oh god can be seen even inside the heart” or “Why to bother him on his busiest day”.

Schipol Airport, no need for cash passport or visa to enter inside
My Europe trip lasted about 9 days, and it fell exactly during 9 days of Navrathri. (For those who don't know, it's a festival celebrated in India to pay respect for Indian Goddesses. Its done by decorating the house with many dolls and doing rituals. Friends and relatives visit each other to see the decorations and share sweets, snacks and gifts. Part of the decoration is called “Park”,we create miniature town/forest with sand, plants from grains and plastic toys. Kids compete with friends to create the best mini town)

I cherish Navrathri close to my heart, because it helped me explore my creative side. I remember making a small banner in my mini town using “Dynora lamps sticker”. I also wrote a slogan that said“Your night will become your day”.

My uncle was working for this company then. He got impressed and told it to his managers, which became a topic of discussion during their meeting. Imagine how much happiness it would have brought to a 10 year old, to learn the slogan he wrote for a toy town was appreciated in a business meeting!

Can it be more realistic ?
When I entered the Miniature town of Madurodam, my joy knew no bounds. Truely a gift from heaven. I felt like Alice in wonderland excited and exploring every thing I saw. I went crazy over the moving cars, trains, planes and boats. I mean this is the best “park” I have ever seen. The exhibit’s attention to details were to the T. The tiny windows had screens, diner table had food and finger length dolls had expressions!

Check out the size of the crow to know the real size of these models.
These pictures posted here don’t do justice to the energy and colors of the place. For that matter no amount of video or picture would capture the experience the place got to offer. So I just let loose the 10 year old from inside and wandered around like I didn't care about anything else.

Can you spot the cable cars ?
I also realized, sometimes by taking photos we miss being in the moment enjoying it. Because photos are taken for future and when you are busy clicking and checking them you are living in future. You are constantly excited, happy or worried about what other might say, or which ones to upload in your blog.

I didnot miss the tulip farm after all
So there I stood smiling like I had hanger in my mouth, more than 10,000 miles away from my home, at a complete strange land yet enjoying my very own festival of Navrathri. I never lost my roots; they just outgrew and spread everywhere, even to the soils of Madurodam.

28 comments:

athivas said...

he,he, again me first!!How is that? How muchever work I have, people don't comment before me??

Srivats said...

enna paasam, vandhadhukku rendu miniature veedu oru train vachikongooooo

athivas said...

//For I see her smile in crescent; I see her beauty in flowers of meadows. Her sun warms my soul and rain quenches my thirst.//

Take a bow!!

//“Oh god can be seen even inside the heart” or “Why to bother him on his busiest day”.//

Same blood!!

What a feeling,illa?When a 10yr old is appreciated?Kudos,Sri!

//So I just let loose the 10 year old from inside and wandered around like I didn't care about anything else.//
vow!!:)

//I never lost my roots; they just outgrew and spread everywhere, even to the soils of Madurodam.///
What a way to say that??

Great post,Sri!!Tough competition between your writing and the pictures. I wish you 1000more experiences like this!! Have the best blast!!I am completely up, after reading this!! :) :)

A journey called Life said...

i take back my words, this is the bestest post in the travellogue so far..i share ur sentiments on the religion bit, down to a T..i like how u refer to Her as HER...
golu memories.. wow esp the park ones
Alice in WOnderland is the most apt way you could have described the place.. loved the pics, appreciate ur thoughts.. and herez wishing you many more such lovely expeditions..

Ramesh said...

Fabulous post Sri. Lovely photos as always, but what a narrative weaving the story so well. Salute you on your religious practice - if only the world would listen to this, all the nonsense done in the name of religion would vanish.

This is a collector's post Sri. A post we would like to read again and again.

A journey called Life said...

in my comment i meant HER as her and not the other way round

G3 said...

//this is the bestest post in the travellogue so far..//

Repeatikkaren :))))))

Chancae illadha post/place :))

//Click to see the saint sculputers above the windows, Madurodam//
//Can you spot the cable cars ?//

Thanks for such great hints :)) Otherwise I would have missed them :(((

அன்புடன் அருணா said...

/I have come a long way with respect to religion and quest of God. I kneel to Virgin Mary, Bow in direction of Mecca, Meditate on Buddha, Pray for healing to Quanin and Chant the names of Shiva. For I see her smile in crescent; I see her beauty in flowers of meadows. Her sun warms my soul and rain quenches my thirst./
I'm extremely surprised....that how could it be so similar of my ideas!!!
Lovely Post Sri!!!

GAYATHRI said...

this post was very different and nice..never heard of this place before..beautiful pics..pleasant one on the whole:)

R-ambam said...

//Part of the decoration is called “Park”,we create miniature town/forest with sand, plants from grains and plastic toys. Kids compete with friends to create the best mini town)//

cant agree more .. and the mustard grasses..

//Imagine how much happiness it would have brought to a 10 year old, to learn the slogan he wrote for a toy town was appreciated in a business meeting!
//
prodigy !

R-ambam said...

//Her sun warms my soul and rain quenches my thirst.
//
//by taking photos we miss being in the moment enjoying it. //

//I never lost my roots; they just outgrew and spread everywhere//

Romba fantastic ! Excellent ! Baley !

R-ambam said...

BTW,
Din-I-Lahi couldnt make it big , History says so.

gils said...

//BTW,
Din-I-Lahi couldnt make it big , History says so//

hateto burst the bubble..but hifi rambam...glad its u who said it and not me :)

Aaarti said...

An absolutely sweet heart warming post Sri... damn sweet~~ :)

Wot u've written abt photos is so true..we are busy focussing and seeing thru the lens to get it right that we miss the moment in reality...which is why these days wenever i remember, i savor the moment and then click a pic.. :)

Aaarti said...

enakkum oru miniature train venum... ~~ :P

Srivats said...

@ AJCL

I got it, I like calling HER her :)
Thank you so much for the wishes.:))

@ Savitha
same blood haha :) Glad you liked it , now the expectations are high, I hope I live up to it.

@Ramesh
Oh man thats a comment I would read again and again :) Loved it!

@G3
Actually Blogger allows to upload large images, Thanks to that! every picture of Miniature town had to be clicked enlarged and seen :) glad I mentioned it.

Srivats said...

@ Aruna
Thanks much, even I felt that reading some of your posts, I have left a comment in your latest post, but I dont see it :( Let me leave that again when I reach home tonight. Somehow it doesnot work from office and sometimes from home.

@ Rambam
Thanks for the kind words.

@ Gils
Ungalukkulla ennada, enakku onnum pirila.

@ Aarti
Yes please take two there are loads of miniature trains in the "park" :)
You are the sweetest to leave such a nice comment

Srivats said...

@ gayathri

Thanks a lot for coming around :) I just had pictures of the miniature town but not much to write about it,so included the story hehe :)

Anu said...

wow!! wow! wow!!! that was just amazing!!!!! now i really envy you!!! i shall certainly show this to samhith when he returns from school and ask him (if he is in a mood) to write a comment too..... just too great!

mybittersweetkoreanlife said...

To me, you come off as a person of immense intellect. Your way with words is exceptional. It's touches and inspires to great extent. I love how open-minded you are, and also the fact that you have a clever rationale behind everything. Keep writing posts like this!

Swaram said...

Din't I tell u its just getting better and better Sri :)

Loved the way u celebrated ur Navratri and hw nice that u did feel that way! Aww ... all in the eyes of the beholder for sure :)

'I kneel to Virgin Mary, Bow in direction of Mecca, Meditate on Buddha, Pray for healing to Quanin and Chant the names of Shiva. For I see her smile in crescent; I see her beauty in flowers of meadows. Her sun warms my soul and rain quenches my thirst' - As many faiths, so many paths! Superb lines :)

'He firmly believes that I have lost my roots. ' - I firmly believe u r probably the one who hs his roots intact :) WTG :)

“Why to bother him on his busiest day”. - ha ha ha gud one :D

'finger length dolls had expressions!' - That must hv been awesome!

'I also realized, sometimes by taking photos we miss being in the moment enjoying it.' - We think so many a times too that the God-given cameras r the best but then the joy we derive from embarking on the same journey again and again thru the pics - truly a joy in itself! And ofcourse, the joy of sharing with ur dear ones :)

Aww so happy to read ur travel tales ...We do a lot a lot of travelling too and ppl tell us we r crazy :D gr8 to find someone who njoys it so much and knows its bliss to enjoy all that nature hs bestowed upon us as well as the wonderful creations of man!

A journey called Life said...

@sri- gils discussion abt Din I lahi is with reference to you taking out best practices of every religion and making one that u want to follow (the one that ur parents have made peace with)..

This said, it was Akbar who created this concept called Din I lahi which saw the convergence of all faiths, he did this is in an attempt to eradicate the now (in) famous caste system, and get some semblance of equality. It did not quite take off the way he planned it and then after he passed on, there were hardly any takers and Din I lahi remained just that- a concept..

Srivats said...

@ AJCL

Yeah I get the Din-I-Lahi concept. But did not get the

"hateto burst the bubble..but hifi rambam...glad its u who said it and not me :)
"

I mean why gils was glad that he she told it and not him plus whats with busting the bubble here hehe, seriously I am dumber than I think I am ...hehe

Srivats said...

@ Anu
Thanks, I knew u would like it as much as I did :) Lets see what Samhith says about it, click to enlarge the pics :)

@Mybittersweetkoreanlife

Thanks Emma, I am so humbled by your words, I dont consider myself as anything to close to Intellect though ;) believe me you would probably take back your words when you see me hehe :) I only hope I make myself worth for the wonderful comments I recieve here.

Srivats said...

@ Swaram

Thanks a load for your dil se comment, Yes I too feel travelling as the best thing to do, I know how sometimes it perceived as something like a lavish spending or crazy behaviour. As your rightly said, we got to go around and enjoy this masterpiece she created :)

Vidya said...

I love this post! I indianize the American celebrations here and americanize the Indian festivals! :D
My favorite festival is "wait". I am going to blog about it!:D

Srivats said...

@ Vidya

eagarly waiting :)...

vishal jindal said...

what a post buddy! simply loved it..
i wish ur cousin understands u...so do other people. yes pics are very butiful..u seem to be live and vibrant.. :)