Happy New Year
Mid-April is an important period in India as it heralds the summer season. In several states, the year begins in mid-April, as Chaitra, the last month of the spring season ends and Baisakh, the first month of Grishma or summer begins.
April 14 is celebrated as Odia, Assamese and Tamil New Year (Puththaandu or Varsha Pirappu). Nepal also celebrates this day as the first day of Nepali New Year. In Kerala it is celebrated as Vishu. Assam and a large part of North Eastern India have its Bohag or Rangili or Haat Bihu to mark the New Year. Odias celebrate Pana Sankranti and partake of a special drink made of bel, banana and sweet meat. In Southern Orissa the day is celebrated as the end of month-long Danda nata, and the final ceremony is known as Meru Yatra. Bengalis have a similar ritual known as Gajan. It spans around a week, starting at the last week of Chaitra ending with Charak Puja, which marks the end of Bengali year. The Bengali New Year begins on 15 April.
I am delighted to live in a country where I can wish New Year several times in a year.
Calendar is a fascinating platform to showcase creativity. It could be an excellent cultural ambassador. It could disseminate much needed information in a way no other medium can do, as it also has functionality. Usually new calendar is released on the eve of the New Year.
My friend Sabyasachi Dutta, who is the founder of an under-graduate residential college in Odisha has produced a calendar on the occasion of Odia New Year on the theme of Nabakalebara of Lord Jagannath. In the pages of the calendar, attempt has been made to explain the philosophy behind the nabakalebara (new body) and provide information about the elaborate rituals of the event with real photographs of the last nabakalebara.
I was also associated with this project in a small way. Must say, it has come out as a ‘collector’s item’.
Doing good deed
I firmly believe, that you do not have to be rich to do good. You can do good to others, to society at every step of your life.
Recently the family members of late Satya Mohapatra, litterateur and editor of Odia daily Dinalipi instituted a fellowship for students at Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Dhenkanal. They spent around Rs Two Lakhs for this.
They are not rich people with huge disposable income. However, they thought of donating this amount of money to institute a fellowship, which will help a student every year for all time to come as the money has been deposited in a bank with the arrangement that the interest accrued in a year will be given as fellowsghip amount.
About Satya Mohapata, he was a litterateur and editor. He also worked as PR professional for some years, before he founded and edited a small Odia daily Dinalipi. The paper made a name as it was well edited and set a benchmark in good reporting and touching all domains of knowledge. He wrote books, about a dozen- on mass communication and fiction. He organized literary meet.
After his demise, his three daughters- media professionals all- Swati, Sonali and Sukanya decided to institute this fellowship. They could have done anything else with that money. But they decided to do this. This is what I call good deed. You do something without any expectation of return.
I am sure there are hundreds of thousands of people who are doing good in their daily lives. That makes the world habitable, life enjoyable. That is what civilization is all about.
Tailpiece-1: Sunny Tales
Kaun kehta hai ki dard sirf pyar me hota hai?
Ek baar dhoop me khadi bike ke seat pe baithke to dekho…
(Who says, only love gives you pain…. just for once seat astride a bike kept on the open under the sun.)
Tailpiece-2: Generation Z
Kid fails in examination.
Annoyed Father: Aaj se mujhe Papa mat kehna…
Son: Oh come on Dad, it was just a school test, not a DNA test.
(Courtesy: Social Media)
Mrinal Chatterjee, a journalist turned media academician lives on the valley of Paniohala Hills at Dhenkanal, Odisha. He also writes fiction. His latest book ‘Point by Point’, a collection of his columns published in Odia daily Khabar and Sambad Kalika has just been released.
He can be contacted at email@example.com