Did Vivekananda say ‘Sisters and Brothers of America’? Fact checking a fact check

Vivekananda at the World Parliament of Religions

Also a list of the other participants from India at the 1893 Parliament of World’s Religions at Chicago. There were at least 15, including Vivekananda.

Unofficial Maha Kumbh and Makar Sankranti Google doodle

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

The sun transits from Sagittarius to Capricorn during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and India celebrates Makar Sankranti and the once-in- a-dozen-years event, the Maha Kumbh at Allahabad begins. An unofficial Google doodle to mark the day.

Audio recording of Swami Vivekananda’s 1893 Chicago address is fake

Today (January 12, 2012) is the 149th birth anniversary of one of India’s most revered philosophers and religious leaders. One of the landmarks of Swami Vivekananda’s life was his address at the 1893 Parliament of World’s Religions at Chicago. As far as I knew, there wasn’t any audio recording of the historic speech and therefore [Read more]

The religion of noise

Loudspeaker with a swastika

Peeved with the constant noise blaring from the loudspeakers in the kanvaria vehicles passing through the highway close to my home, dug out this old post from August 2005. August 25, 2005: The night is yet to be over, the morning just on the coast. A banshee cry screeches through the silent dawn. Neither an [Read more]

Mahalaya: The Advent of Autumn

Today is Mahalaya, the day of invocation of goddess Durga in her Mahisasurmardini form (the slayer of the demon Mahisasur). The beginning of the ten days of festivity.


Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

Ganesha An elephant-headed god, who is one of the most popular deities today, revered by Hindus of all sects. Ganesha is the patron deity of writers, accountants, traders and businessmen, and is worshipped at the start of any new venture. He grants progress, prosperity, wisdom, and the removal of obstacles… Ganesha is venerated by Buddhists [Read more]

Citizen Sweety Blouse: Draupadi Cheer Haran

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

One of the highlights of the Mahabharat (you can watch the complete episodes of the original TV serial here) was Draupadi’s cheer haran. And one of the wittiest Bollywood movies Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron also incorporated that in the climax. Ekta Kapoor’s tried to add a twist to the great epic with her Kahani Hamare [Read more]