A TO Z INDIA - - Inside - Indira Sri­vatsa, Ed­i­tor - A TO Z IN­DIA.

We are de­lighted to in­form all our read­ers that 'A TO Z IN­DIA' mag­a­zine cel­e­brates its 1st an­niver­sary this month. We thank all our read­ers, spon­sors, well-wish­ers, etc. for en­abling us to achieve this great feat.

The high­lights of this is­sue in­clude the cul­ture of Kerala, which is the trop­i­cal sym­phony of In­dia. For many trav­ellers, Kerala is South In­dia's most serenely beau­ti­ful state. A slender coastal strip is shaped by its lay­ered land­scape: al­most 600km of glo­ri­ous Ara­bian Sea coast and beaches; a lan­guid net­work of glis­ten­ing back­wa­ters; and the spice- and tea-cov­ered hills of the Western Ghats. Kerala is a world away from the frenzy of else­where, as if In­dia had passed through the Look­ing Glass and be­come an al­to­gether more laid-back place.

Sri Mata Am­ri­tanan­damayi Devi - Many peo­ple won­der how a lit­tle girl from a sim­ple South In­dian Kerala vil­lage came to be known through­out the world as “Amma, the Mother of All.” Moth­er­hood, in its ul­ti­mate sense, has noth­ing to do with bear­ing a child, but with love, com­pas­sion and self­less­ness. It lies in to­tally giv­ing one’s self to oth­ers.

If we look at Amma’s life, this is what we see— some­one who has of­fered her ev­ery thought, word and deed for the ben­e­fit of oth­ers. Giv­ing is the essence. It’s just that when the home­less come cry­ing for shel­ter and Amma gives them a house, we call her a “hu­man­i­tar­ian.” And when the sor­row­ful come cry­ing for emo­tional so­lace and she gives them love, we call her a “mother.” And when those thirsty for spir­i­tual knowl­edge come earnestly seek­ing and she gives them wis­dom, we call her a “guru.” This at­ti­tude of self­lessly serv­ing all cre­ation, know­ing oth­ers to be ex­ten­sions of one’s own self, Amma refers to as vishwa ma­trut­vam—uni­ver­sal moth­er­hood. And it is to this pin­na­cle of hu­man ex­is­tence that Amma is try­ing to awaken the world through her life, teach­ings and dar­shan.

Onam - Kerala's Big­gest Fes­ti­val, Onam is a tra­di­tional ten day har­vest fes­ti­val that marks the home­com­ing of the myth­i­cal King Ma­ha­bali. It’s a fes­ti­val rich in cul­ture and her­itage. Onam is cel­e­brated in the begin­ning of the month of Chingam, the first month of Malay­alam Cal­en­dar (Kollavar­sham). In 2018, the most im­por­tant day of Onam (known as Thiruonam) is on Au­gust 25. Rit­u­als com­mence ap­prox­i­mately 10 days be­fore Thiruonam, on Atham (Au­gust 15).

Kalar­i­pay­attu - The vi­brant tra­di­tional mar­tial art of Kerala, Kalar­i­pay­attu has been a part of the his­tory and cul­ture of Kerala from time im­memo­rial. It is in Kerala that even to­day this art form re­tains all its in­trin­sic qual­i­ties un­al­tered. Kalar­i­pay­attu is con­sid­ered as the 'Mother of all Mar­tial Arts', its off­shoots be­ing mar­tial art forms like Karate, Kun-Fu, Sil­am­bam, etc. Kalar­i­pay­attu thus forms a holis­tic base for the many of to­day’s per­form­ing artists.

Ayurveda Shi­rod­hara - Kerala's Shi­rod­hara mas­sage is a clas­sic Ayurvedic ther­apy, which in­cludes pour­ing of warm herbal oil on the fore­head in a con­tin­u­ous stream. Ayurvedic Shi­rod­hara ther­apy is very ef­fec­tive in pro­mot­ing sound sleep and re­duc­ing stress. Shi­rod­hara treat­ment is one among the Bahipari­mar­jana chik­itsa, or ex­ter­nal treat­ments told in Ayurveda. The term Shi­rod­hara comes from two words “Shira” mean­ing head and “Dhara” mean­ing stream.

Un­niyap­pam - Un­niyap­pam (lit­er­ally means small rice­cake) is a pop­u­lar snack in Kerala and is usu­ally made us­ing rice flour, jag­gery and ba­nana.

We wish 'Happy In­de­pen­dence Day' and 'Happy Rak­sha Band­han' to our read­ers. Happy read­ing!

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