Seasons of Storytelling

HANUKKAH (10th -18th December)

Long, long ago – about 2,200 years ago - in Jerusalem, a war broke out between the Greeks and the Jews. The Greeks won, drove the Jews out of their houses, confiscated their belongings and forced them to worship idols, which was against Jewish law. Worst of all, the Greeks banned the Jews from studying the Torah, the Jewish book of wisdom, the most important possession of any Jew. They did not accept it as something holy that connects people to God. 


Happy Hanukkah, everyone!   A photo taken in Germany in 1931. On the back of the picture, the rabbi's wife wrote, "Our light will outlast their flag."

Vayu's Hanukkah Sameyakh Greetings
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Introduction by Vayu Naidu

For a long time, no one could stand up against the Greeks and the Jews suffered greatly. Finally, a group of Jewish people called the Maccabees revolted and freed Jerusalem from their rulers. 

For the Jews, this was a miracle.

When they returned to Jerusalem, they set out to rededicate their temple to their God, as the Greeks had been worshipping their idols and Greek gods there. 

And then came a miracle even greater than defeating the Greek armies: the miracle of oil. As part of the rededication, the Jewish people needed to relight the menorah, a candle-holder with nine branches, whose light is created by burning oil.  Searching the temple for oil, they found only one single jar of untouched oil – enough to last just one day. 

Taking a leap of faith, they relit the menorah. To their surprise, it stayed lit for eight days, seven more days than was possible with one small jar of oil. This, to the Jews, was the true miracle from God. They had risked their lives to save their faith and God had sent a message of light to thank them. 

Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration. Each day another candle is lit, commemorating each day that the oil lasted. 

Since then, the Jews have drawn joy from that light, even through times of darkness. The eight days of Hanukkah are celebrated with parties, games, delicious potato pancakes and chocolate coins. Lighting a candle every night for 8 nights is a reminder to charge ourselves with light, to pluck up our courage and never lose hope through all the days of the years to come and always to turn darkness to light. 

Dr Caryn Solomon

Dr Caryn Solomon Hannukah Story
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Dr Caryn Solomon reads the story of Hanukkah

Village Schools Project

Our goal is to improve the Nyae Nyae Lower Primary Village Schools infrastructural needs. We must however go beyond “fixing up schools”. We recommend a collaborative approach focusing on solving immediate infrastructural problems, simultaneously focusing on the development of sustainable, long term solutions.

For more information view website and video

DIWALI (6th – 14th November)

The epic Ramayana culminates in the festival of Diwali. Celebrated around the world, preparations begin this week and its finale is on 

14 November in 2020. With COVID restrictions this year we will miss the sparklers, crackers and the yearly bonfire that all come into Diwali’s Lila. 

However, we will be lighting lamps in doors, and in our hearts. After all, this living legend from world epic literature is about the triumph of light in a world engulfed momentarily, by the dark.

With the odyssey of Sita and Rama and the pantheon of human and animal characters, we understand the struggle continuously to save and raise the value of life against oppression. Here, Life focuses on environment – external and internal. The flower-petals-leaves Rangoli Kolams I’m curating are:

Diwali - Ramayana by Vayu Naidu
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Diwali Part 2 by Vayu Naidu
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Arpan Shiva Kumar - Meditation
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1. The King Receives the gift of his prayers by 

REKHA SUNIL KULKARNI - India. Artist of  Petal-&-Leaves Rangoli


2. Rekha Sunil Kulkarni - The childhood of the Princes. Flower and petal Rangoli in Memory of PRACHI Kulkarni


3. Rekha Sunil Kulkarni - Rama faces his fear and defeats the demon Tataka who is polluting the Dandaka forest. Flower and petal Rangoli in Memory of PRACHI Kulkarni


5. Rekha Sunil Kulkarni's rangoli of the enchanted Sita by the Golden Deer in the forest


4. Rekha Sunil Kulkarni - Sita recognises Rama who breaks Shiva's iron bow and advances with garland. Flower and petal Rangoli in Memory of PRACHI Kulkarni


6. Rekha Sunil Kulkarni's rangoli of Sita advising Hanuman in Ashokavan

7. Rekha Sunil Kulkarni's rangoli of Rama facing Ravana in a battle to save light on earth.

Dedicated to the memory of PRACHI KULKARNI, Created by REKHA SUNIL KULKARNI,

chief executive officer, Mann Deshi, Empowering Women, Transforming Lives  |   

To make a contribution (click above),  Shop products:click here!

Head office: Mhaswad, Taluka Mann, District Satara - 415509

Maharashtra, India

I share the joy of commissioning and curating this album of illustrations by REKHA to a Ramayana I am telling for the first and twenty thousandth and twentieth time.  For me, the lockdowns of this Pandemic are a seed time for infinite possibilities for the future of our planet; starting clear, hands-on, and simple. It is with immense delight that I distribute sweets after the storytelling. The best way for me to bring it to your door is for you to support the women I admire of MANN DESHI who make them.  This will be a story remembered of a time that we can pass on about the Anthropocene too.

 In recreating nights of storytelling in cyber time, the final part of the epic will culminate on 14 November, so do click and share with family and friends, with wishing us the light of wisdom from self-reflection that Ramayana brings time and time after time….


Text and ‘bina patrika’ unscripted Storytelling – Dr Vayu Naidu

©Vayu Naidu: words, images on this website.

Remember, remember the fifth of November, The Gunpowder treason and plot; I know of no reason why the Gunpowder treason, Should ever be forgot!

Guy Fawkes and his companions did the scheme contrive, to blow the King and Parliament all up alive.

A stick and a stake For King James's sake! If you won't give me one, I'll take two, The better for me, And the worse for you.

A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope, A penn'orth of cheese to choke him, A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him. Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring! Holloa, boys! holloa boys!


God save the King! Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

Gunpowder Plot

(5th November)

Guy Fawkes Poem
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More stories and storytelling coming...

REKHA SUNIL KULKARNI - India. Artist of Petal-&-Leaves Rangoli