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Showing posts from April, 2015

NEPAL SIGNATURE BLOCK PRINT

We had almost exhausted the supply of typical gifts from Nepal. These are the souvenirs we take every year to tourism fairs to present to our overseas partners. Handicrafts and weaves, tea bags and coffee sachets were gifted. Miniature Khukri the Gurkha knife, the bottle shaped like a khukri with rum in it that came out as Coronation Rum to mark King Birendra's Coronation in 1975 and Pashmina shawls and scarves have done the rounds from Singapore to Stockholm. So what else new could be taken as gifts?

We hit upon the idea of Nepalese block printed cloth, the signature tradition that has carried on over a century and a half since it was first imported from Benaras. Even today Nepalese living from Melbourne to Montreal feel most comfortable wrapping themselves in the khasto, block printed cotton shawl hemmed in by muslin cloth on both sides. My daughter uses it inside the house in chilly London weather. The ubiquitous but humble khasto is Nepal's preferred body warmer.

I am blo…

THE NAME GAME

The thing we call a rose would smell just as sweet if we called it by any other name. Romeo would be just as perfect even if he wasn't called Romeo. Romeo, lose your name. Trade in your name—which really has nothing to do with you—and take all of me in exchange.Romeo and Juliet What's in a name anyway? We hail our Gods by many names during worship. Lord Krishna, the dark one, is Mohan when he is flirting with his Gopinis; Nanda Lal, the prankster boy of Nanda; Gopal, a cowherd grazing his cattle; Govinda, the preserver of bountiful nature; Murlidhar, the magician with the flute; in fact he has been affectionately addressed by 108 names by his devotees through many millennia.

World rulers and conquerors throughout the ages have changed their birth names often denoting inconsequential, humble beginnings to glorified appellation befitting their elevated status. We learnt in history that mere mortals took mythical names that struck fear in their enemies. The nephew of Julius Caesar…