July’s Happiness Jar

July Happiness Jar

It’s July.

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate that the UK summer is well and truly here.

Always rooting for the underdog, us Brits, always believing in the best possible outcome with some underlying British cynicism…but lo and behold. The #hottestdayoftheyear has come and gone.

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Cooking with A Cause

It’s been a while since I’ve shared the bits and pieces that have caught my eye.

Share - Cooking with a Cause - namaste from ananya

This little addition my desk arrived as a little birthday present.

Two loves: food & humanity entwined into one to bring together probably the best of combinations?!

Cooking with a cause.
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Celebrating The Golden Jubilee of The Tagoreans

Celebrating 50 years - Tagoreans - Namaste From Ananya

You’ll be hard pressed to find a Bengali person that can’t affectionately tell you a little bit about Tagore:  a true Bengali hero and the world’s first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.

The best way to describe Rabrindranath Tagore is a polymath, though he is of course most well known for his literature.

[Original Bengali Surname: Thakur & therefore Thakur-ji out of respect]

 Learning Tagore’s work has almost become an essential rite of passage for any Bengali.

As youngsters, we’re immersed in Tagore’s work:

1. His poetry in the form of Gitanjali: Song Offerings (which gained him international recognition) & a knighthood (later returned  in 1919, in protest at the Amritsar massacre).

2. Or simply learning Jana Gana Mana or Amar Shonar Bangla: the Indian & Bangladesh National Anthems.

Being away from desh (: the homeland) was not enough of an excuse to pass up on this important rite;  my mum made sure to teach me Rabrindra-Sangeet from a young age (though she had her work cut out trying to get this painfully shy youngster to perform any song or dance on stage!)

Growing up, I think I took the ability to appreciate Tagore’s Bengali verses for granted. Yet now, I realise that no English translation can even come close to giving his stunning architecture of words the justice they truly deserve.

As the years have gone on, I’ve found myself being inspired & intrigued by more than just Tagore’s literary offerings alone, but rather the subtext that transcends through his essays and drama.

Though Tagore, celebrated as an Indian Nationalist, admired Gandhi, the country’s nationalism icon, he also disagreed with him on several issues and wrote to him on occasion expressing his concerns against organised religion.

Gandhi’s views that the Bihar earthquake killing thousands of was ‘karma’ for the ‘sin of untouchability’ was met with disdain by Tagore. Gandhi’s solution to birth control being abstinence whereas Tagore’s viewed differed, believing in family planning as preferable.

Most interestingly, the way Tagore portrayed females in his work is important. He paints them as complex characters: modern in their desires yet crushed under patriarchy and colonialism.

What I find most interesting is that in a country such as India, these issues are still so deeply relevant yet still seen as ‘taboo’. Yet here, Tagore’s forward thinking, and insight was so far progressed than the society around him gave him credit for.

“So I repeat we never can have a true view of man unless we have a love for him. Civilisation must be judged and prized, not by the amount of power it has developed, but by how much it has evolved and given expression to, by its laws and institutions, the love of humanity.”

Sādhanā: The Realisation of Life, 1916.

Such a talented individual that held so much insight and awareness for the world around him, should be remembered fondly as well as appropriately.

Enter The Tagoreons.

lThe Tagoreons, a non-profit organisation of like-minded individuals, dedicated to keeping Tagore’s spirit & soul alive through song.

And this year, they marked their Golden Jubilee anniversary of just that.

Presenting: Kavi Pranam – Homage to Tagore

Celebrating 50 years - Tagoreans - Namaste From Ananya

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San Francisco #2 – A Food Guide

Experiencing foreign culinary delights is just as important as diving head first into a city’s sights…or uh, shopping. Food in San Fran definitely did not disappoint.

SanFranFoodGuide-NamasteFromAnanya

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San Francisco #1 – A City Guide

For many of us, there are those places that we talk about visiting incessantly, San Fran being one such place. When the opportunity actually arose to fly out for a conference, a few of us were left feeling overwhelmed as to how on earth to squeeze such a famous city into a few days of touristic affairs!

Flying out for business purposes to a city you’ve always wanted to spend a week or two exploring, meant being thrifty with our limited free time – but think we did a fairly well & I’m sure you’d agree if you’ve been following along on instagram 😉

So here goes, a little whistle-stop tour of San Francisco for the wanderlusting individual just wanting to ‘pack it all in’ – Stay tuned for #2 soon!

:: Evening #SanFran, it's almost time to leave you✨

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