Navratri – A festival of Nine Days, Colors & Food

With the season of onset of Navratri festival, people worship goddess Durga till nine sacred days and in the nine forms of Maa Shakti.  Navratri festival comes twice a year one is called as Chaitra Navratri and the other one is known as Sharad Navratri.

The word Nav’ means nine and ‘Ratri’ means night in Sanskrit, which accounts to nine days of celebrations. Durga Puja and Navratri festival is celebrated by worshiping Goddess Durga and her glorified 9 different avatars.

The dates of Navratri changes as it follows the Lunar calendar. Nine glorified forms of Goddess Maa Durga – Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri are worshipped on these days by devotees.

Indian Festival not just celebrate festival but you cannot forget the varied food delicacies it bring along.

Talk about food, Here is what we (me and my husband had on our first day of Navratre) –

#navratriFood On the first day of Navratre, my husband's appetite took us to a Roadside lunch treat. Indeed, a great way to fill your hungry appetite #rajmachawal #roadside @noidagram #sector18 #noida #foodhabits #happytummy
On the first day of #navratri – you can never get away from the traditional food plate of kuttu-roti, aloo-sabzi, sabutdana papad and of course, these laddoo for the sweet bites. On the first day of Navratre, my husband’s appetite took us to a Roadside lunch treat. Indeed, a great way to fill your hungry appetite with these sumptuous Rajma Chawal

Our food plates on Second Day of Navratre

secondDay While I fast during navratre, why will my dearest husband stop splurge his appetite habits. Having this paneer parantha right here, right now..
Second day calls for kebabs from
kuttu atta, mashed potato, roasted peanuts, salt (sendha namak) and green chilly.Don’t miss on the sabutdana papad tacos stuffed with leftover fried stuffing & chilled Curd.
While I fast during navratre, why will my dearest husband stop splurge his appetite habits. Having this paneer parantha right here, right now..

Did I kept you wondering our third day attempts treating food palate, here it is..

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Third day of navratre and I had to
switch my sweet tooth on – I enjoyed my plate of Sabudana Kheer, with gooey-juicy mausmi. To balance the sweetness, I served myself with chops of Sweet Potato sprinkled with lemon juice.
To satiate the hunger strike of his dearest tummy, presenting – paneer bhurji clubbed with parantha made in desi ghee . Ahhh, his #YummyInTummy look..

Love is sharing and on our Fourth Day of Navarate, we had the same food.

That is our common food, served on two different plates - but obvious stir fried #pumpkin, with samak (samo) rice and mashed Paneer (hint of lemon) and he had his #gheepawn chappatti (roti) ..
That is our common food, served on two different plates – but obvious stir fried #pumpkin, with samak (samo) rice and mashed Paneer (hint of lemon) and he had his #gheepawn chappatti (roti) ..

I had my evening fill of mausami juice today and wanted to have a light snack for dinner so I made this Poha from Samak (Samo) rice..

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Samak Chawal Poha was my dinner today. Excuse me for I do not have His plate today – he was too hungry to let me take a snap today.. BTW – he had his meal of Bhindi (Lady Finger) and Chappati..

On the blessed fifth day of Navratri Pooja, Skanda mata is worshipped. Being the mother of powerful deity Kumar Kartikey, mother Parvati is glorified with name ‘Skanda Mata’. She is the true Goddess of endurance. Here what our plate looked liked

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I pan fried Sabudana mixed with boiled potato, green chilly and roasted peanuts for these amazing kebab experience. No indian food find its completion unless, a spoon full of desi ghee is served with this plate of rajma chawal..

Shashthi – According to Hindu mythology, venerated Kata performed several austerities to accept the Goddess in the form of a daughter. Impressed with the devotion, the Goddess accepted his boon. She is highly generous toward her worshippers and devotees.

It is also believed that while worshipping Devi Katyayini on the Shashti (sixth day) of Durga Pooja, devotees feel presence of Agya Chakra in their mind and soul.

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Treating myself is like feeling awesome – I made dosas from kuttu ka atta with pumpkin + boiled potato as filling, and the left over potato chips.

You cannot, cannot miss the sweet-tooth desires which resulted in makhane ki kheer piled up with dry fruits. Ahh – I be blessed..

How can we miss him, my dearest husband and his food desires…

he sum himself for cheese toast filled with tomato, onion placed neatly with sandwich spread. And that is suji (semolina) kheer for his taste buds..

umm.. Why should i have all the fun afterall..

The seventh day of Navaratri is dedicated to Maa Kalratri – the seventh avtaar of Maa Durga. Kaal means time and death and Kaalratri means the One who is the Death of Kaal. Maa Kalratri destroys ignorance and brings light into the dark.

We enlightened our stomach with delicious food served hot with lots of love

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The satisfaction is beyond when you dearest tummy savors food, after a full day fast – I made one – pot spicy soup  from boiled potato, boiled arbi (colocasia), roasted peanuts

For sweets savory – I treated myself to delicious malpuas from kuttu aata…

 

That grilled sandwich does the good-fill-tummy job, and he had his fill and being the partner in crime for every dinner date through these nine days of fasting.

 

Ashtami , the eighth day of the Navaratra is celebrated with traditional rituals and religious fervour. The significance of ‘Kanya Pujan’ is maximum on Ashtani, as only after it, people observing fast can break it. This day is also known for ‘Astra Puja'(Worshiping Weapons) as on this day the weapons of goddess Durga are worshiped.

Goddess Kali appeared on this day from the forehead of Mother Durga and annihilated Chanda, Munda and Rakthabija (the demons who were associate of Mahishasura).

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As per popular legends, demon Mahishasura started killing people to win all the three lokas, after attaining power of eternity from Lord Shiva. The Gods pleaded to Lord Shiva to bring an end to the atrocities of Mahishasura. The Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva united their powers and created Goddess Durga, to fight the evil.The battle continued for nine nights at the end of which Durga beheaded Mahishasura.

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On the 9th day Kanya Puja is performed. Nine girls represent the nine forms of the Goddess Durga or Divine Mother. Their feet are washed, tilak is applied to their foreheads, and they partake in a feast of pooris, halwa, and black gram. They are offered new clothes and fruits by those who perform this ceremony. At times, a token of money is also given as blessings.

Another legend from the Hindu mythology, King Daksha of Himalayas was blessed with a beautiful and virtuous daughter, named Uma who wished to marry Lord Shiva. Uma worshipped him and pleased Lord Shiva who married her.  Later, Lord Shiva refused Uma to witness the Yagna conducted by her father. She  rather turned up at the Yagna and insulted Lord Shiva. Unable to withstand the insult, the angry Uma decided to end her life by jumping into the agni kund and was united with the eternity. Therefore, Uma came to be known as Sati. Sati was reborn again. In the second birth, Sati married Lord Shiva and the divine couple lived happily, thereafter. It is believed that Sati comes to stay with her parents for nine days, every year.

The final day is known Dussehra, when day long prayers are offered to Goddess Durga.  It is also called as Navami and Vijayadashami.

Happy Navratri 2016 to everyone out there! Celebrate the festival and spread happiness, hope the Goddess showers her divine blessings and fulfills your wishes.

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Project Smile – Adobe’s Annual Be-Involved #adobelife Month

 Be Involved Month at Adobe

July is Be Involved Month at Adobe, a time for us to celebrate our core value of getting involved. What is heart-warming is to see that not only Adobe as a company, but every employee of the generation is increasingly realizing the importance of giving back to the society.

CSR projects enhance the meeting experience by increasing attendee satisfaction levels, creating strong bonds among colleagues and employees and enforcing the power of a meeting at the destination.

 Be Involved Month at Adobe

Project Smile is a ray of hope which aim to create a day that would shine a spotlight on nurturing children and young minds by giving them a platform for growth. Through a broad range of engagement activities, games and visual volunteerism, we at Adobe seek to create value for society and bring joy to every child’s live. The event believes in creating stronger foundations for a brighter tomorrow.

Through Project Smile, Adobe gave a platform to the budding minds at Sai Siksha Sansthan, Noida to titillate their creative potential.

The children were inspired to make best use of the colors and paint the canvas red with their beautiful colors choices. Through this initiative, each employee made a sincere attempt to inspire and applaud the talent inherent in these children. The big idea was to give wings to the young minds’ imaginations.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many powerful stories can a wall tell? Painting school’s wall here made us believe how important is infrastructure for the education for each child. Every color added to the wall is addition to help the kids grow with visual belongingness.

The wall painted was now a canvas for them to do the story telling and add abundance of imagination and stay connected. The atmosphere in which each kid felt personally engaged and experienced with time.

CSR Programs – The Feel-Good Activity That Pays Off

Each year Be-Involved Event volunteers’ time to make a difference in the communities where they work and live. From providing meals to restoring critical habitats to cleaning up , Adobe volunteers are committed to making their communities a better place.

Games and Activities helped to keep the children engaged. These activities help them hone their skill levels and made them feel recognized.

 Be Involved Month at Adobe

The kids enjoyed thoroughly during game activities such as Dumb-Charades, Dance-Music Sessions and not to forget the Party Bounce, which was an instant hit with everyone.

Who doesn’t like to play classroom games?  Not only are games fun, interactive and social, but they’re also great tools for learning. On the other hand, classroom games add flair to student involvement to more  yet necessary tasks like teaching or even competing. Adding an element of competition motivates and energizes students.

 Be Involved Month at Adobe

 Be Involved Month at Adobe

The learning style of every student plays a key role with things like “watching/listening.” I am sure, you would affirm that definitely a visual teaching makes you a better learned.

Here’s a example of how learning can benefit from this cognitive demand. A play was organized by the students of the school, with the help and involvement of Adobe employees, to highlight and identify social issues with solutions. After which, a conversation was initiated to build the interest of the kids and help them judge the right and the wrong. Every kid realized that social issues that they often see can have a solution. Every kid pledge for the cause and I think, this nailed the entire purpose of the event.

 Be Involved Month at Adobe

 Be Involved Month at Adobe

 Be Involved Month at Adobe

The school were thrilled, as evidenced by the glowing letter of thanks from the headmaster and various pupils. But it was the impact on the staff that was most revealing.

The rule of thumb is simple – At all times, all students must interact with new learning. The work of education is difficult, but we must try to keep students cognitively engaged. It begins with gaining and keeping their attention and interest. Once we have that attention and interest, what we do with it will make the difference with reaching our instructional goals. Real learning is indeed, not a spectator sport.

Don’t forget to spread the word on your social networks using #adobelife and #createchange.

Pic Courtesy : Amit Agarwal | Nitin Gupta | Sagar

You can view more pictures at – Pics by Nitin | Pics by Amit

Adobe Reimagine India – Brew the New

… With power comes great responsibility.

Earlier this week, everyone geared up for Adobe‘s yearly celebrations for an evening of high fashion and musical concert with much fanfare.

The event went through stages of conceptualization to execution at Jaypee Sports Complex for over a thousand people who meant the most to Adobe. A special mention of thank you to Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd and their team for making this event as happening and success. Suffice it to say, we partied the night away, the #adobelife way!

When Adobe wanted to celebrate their Annual celebrations 2015, there was only one entity they trusted in ─ the people of Adobe. It was an entertainment ceremony for the employees and their family. The evening started with the Fashion show.

Renowed bangalore famous Rajesh Shetty did a fabulous job in choreographing the entire sequence for the show. He was patient and entertaining at the same time. Undoubtedly, he was the stylist of the evening and his team of makeup and hair styling did a great job styling all the participants.

Adobe Reimagine India - Brew the New

It was a fun and creative way of highlighting participating employees of Adobe. A great deal of hard work was involved in organizing the fashion show. A kudos to ESCAPE team,the in-house organizing team at Adobe. And every buzz and excitement of the show made it all the more worthwhile.

As the music reaches it’s crescendo so do the brush strokes and before you blink there’s a canvas of colours before your eyes! That’s Vilas Nayak. He painted Adobe’s inspiration and showcased his talent, creative speed painting with both hands on canvas to the beats and tune of music from memory.

Adobe ReImagine India - Brew the New

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In less than 5 minutes he drew a water-colors portrait of Amjad Khan aka Gabbar, MD Naresh Gupta in 7 minutes and the CEO Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, in about as many minutes.

He believes in, “Speed and accuracy are the keywords for this kind of art. You cannot afford to make any mistake when you are painting on stage.

She needs no introduction and was a total show stealer with her magical voice and stunning performance. As the photos suggest and self-explanatory in nature, Sunidhi Chauhan, churns out a series of scintillating music performances each passing year. With every ounce of the band’s full energy packed into the grooves and a little more added for emphasis, Sunidhi squeezes out tracks of epic proportions.

Adobe Reimagine India - Brew the New

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She started her performance with a bang with the title song of Dhoom 3. From then, she had everyone on their feet with songs like Ainvain Ainvain, Sheila Ki Jawaani, Bidi Jalai Le and Aa Zara. She also mesmerized audiences with her romantic hits like Te Amo, Bin Tere, Beintehaan and Yaaram.

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The event also honored the winners of In-House #adobelife selfie Contest held earlier. The winner got chance to click a selfie with Sunidhi Chauhan. What a prized possession.!!

A musical exhibition with such an outstanding crowd conferred magnificence and immense love from the audience. It was indeed a phenomenal evening worth being cherished!

All super-heroes as we know today have gone through the process, understanding their responsibility to protect and further mankind. That’s what Marvel and the movies have made us believe. An apt, epic and powerful quote that goes well with Adobe India. Way to go with many more reason to celebrate.

Pictures Credits – NitinGuptaPhotoworks | Mandeep Singh Photography

**Kindly refrain from commenting on the people in the Photographs!