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The Poetry of Nagarjun Posted by on Aug 9, 2019

This week, I’ll be discussing a Hindi and Maithili writer (लेखक/lekhak) who is not well-known (नामी/naami) outside of India but certainly should be. The author known as “Baba Nagarjun” (बाबा नागार्जुन) and “Yatri,” (यात्री) whose real name was Vaidyanath Mishra (वैद्यनाथ मिश्र) (~1911-1998), was born in the village (गाँव/gaanv) of Satlakha in Bihar (बिहार). It…

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Hindi Words Hiding in Plain Sight Posted by on Jul 27, 2019

The assumption goes that Romance languages (रोमांस भाषा/Romance bhaashaa, plural: भाषाएँ/bhaashaae) are easier for native English speakers (अँग्रेज़ी मातृभाषी/angrezi matribhaashi, lit: those for whom English is a mother tongue) to learn as they do not possess a greatly dissimilar alphabet (there’s no need to learn another script, लिपि/lipi) and possess many words (शब्द/shabd) in common…

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The Evolution of Hindi Numerals Posted by on Jul 20, 2019

What many refer to as “Arabic numerals,” (अंक/ank=numeral) actually have their origin (मूल/mool) in the Indian subcontinent, from whence they eventually spread to Persia and the Arab world. Although modern Arabic numerals (i.e., 1, 2, 3, etc.) are in common use throughout India today, it is useful to learn their forms in Devanagari as you…

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Ayurveda: Traditional Indian Medicine Posted by on Jul 13, 2019

Ayurveda (आयुर्वेद=the knowledge of life and longevity), a traditional medical system (पारंपरिक चिकित्सा व्यवस्था/paaramparik chikitsaa vyavasthaa) from the Indian subcontinent, has been popular in some circles in the West since the 1960s; in the United States, for example, we can now find Ayurvedic products, schools and practitioners of this ancient (प्राचीन/praacheen) system of “alternative medicine”…

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Traveling Green in India Posted by on Jul 6, 2019

For many people, traveling (सफ़र करना/safar karnaa or यात्रा करना/yaatraa karnaa) often and extensively is a lifelong aspiration and perhaps even hobby (शौक/shauk), as traveling can be challenging, exciting and potentially life-altering. With all of these positive aspects of traveling, it’s easy to forget that our actions as travelers (यात्री/yaatri) and tourists (पर्यटक/paryatak) may negatively…

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Chatting with Your Local Sabzi Vala Posted by on Jun 27, 2019

While visiting or living in India, you’ll find that a lot of shopping (खरीदारी/khareedaaree) for basic items – such as fruit, vegetables, toiletries, clothing, etc. – can be done by buying goods from local vendors who specialize in a particular item. Although you always have the option of going to a grocery store or superstore…

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Summer Traditions Posted by on Jun 21, 2019

As yesterday was the longest day of the year in terms of daylight hours (or Summer Solstice), which many people consider as ushering in the true intensity of summer (गर्मी/garmi or ग्रीष्म/greesham), I thought it would be fitting to discuss some of my summer reminiscences (याद/यादें, yaad/yaade, sing/plural) from the time I spent in Rajasthan…

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