buffalo half

Daehwi: yo, mad props on the sandwich, mom. this PB&J is off the hook!

Donghyun: excuse me?

Woojin: he’s been watching MTV Cribs. the kid’s a sponge.

Daehwi: for shizzle, my drizzle.

Wait, what’s Durga Puja?

Wow, I haven’t been active… anyways, this coming Wednesday to Saturday is one of India’s most popular festivals! That’s right, it’s Durga Puja! 

What’s a Puja?  

A puja is basically a religious ceremony which we can use to honor a god or goddess. We can also use it to purify a place, celebrate something, and honor someone. Pujas can take place anywhere The work puja in Sanskrit means reverence or homage. 

Who’s Durga? 

She’s the most badass goddess Hinduism has to offer, and my personal favorite. Durga is depicted as a beautiful woman with ten (or more) arms. Each of her arms carries a different weapon. She rides on either a tiger or a lion. Her face is tranquil, because she fights out of righteous anger, not hate. As for her personality, she’s basically Wonder Woman. Most of the myths surrounding her involve her fighting demons which threaten peace and dharma, or the right way of living. Durga literally means invincible in Sanskrit, and yeah, she is invincible. 

What do we celebrate at Durga Puja?  

The myth most commonly celebrated during Durga Puja is Durga’s own creation myth, which is the story of Mahishasura. Mahisha means buffalo, and this demon was literally half buffalo. A lot of murtis, or icons, depict him as a man with a buffalo head or just a demonic looking man. Anyways, like most Hindu villains, he did tapas or austerities to the god Bramha to become immortal. Bramha  told the demon, “Fine, from now on, you cannot be killed by any man.” Mahishasura, being a demon, was pretty chill with this and he proceeded to completely wreck Earth in a battle against the gods. The divine trinity of Hinduism, Bramha (creation), Vishnu (preservation), and Shiva (destruction), decided to intervene by creating the most powerful woman goddess ever– Durga. They fought for nine days straight, and on the tenth day, Durga finally slayed Mahishasura. It is said that the battle took place on the Chamundi Hills near Mysuru, Karnataka, India (where my father is from!). 

Timeline of Durga Puja Events: 

Because the battle lasted for ten days, the festival lasts ten days. The first day is known as Mahalaya, the day when Durga came down to Earth. The next big day is Panchami, or the fifth dayThe next days are known as Shasthi (sixth),  Saptami (seventh), Ashtami (eighth), Navami (ninth), and finally Dashami (or Bijoya, or Dussera. It depends on where you’re from). Dashami is the tenth day on which which Durga defeated Mahishasura. 

How do we celebrate Durga Puja? 

Well, that depends on where you’re from! I’ll mostly be talking about Bengali customs but I’ll also address some other area’s celebrations. On Mahalaya, Bengalis wake up at 4:00 AM and listen to a two hour long radio program  which basically tells the story of Mahishasura in song format. Shasthi to Navami are celebrated with many pujas, including anjali, which is where we repeat various prayers three times to offer flowers to the goddess and pray. Later, we eat a meal called bhog, which consists of traditional Bengali fare. Ashtami  is considered the most important day by many and the bhog is different on that day. In order to visit the idol of the goddess, Bengalis go pandal hopping. A pandal  is a temporary temple created to house the idol, and many modern pandals are themed and lavishly decorated. Finally, on Dashami  or Bijoya (victory), we take the clay idol of the goddess and ceremonially place it inside a river or lake. The idol dissolves, indicated Durga’s return to heaven. Then we eat mutton and loochi (fried flatbread). Yeah, we Bengalis eat a lot. Also of note are Mysuru’s Dassara celebrations, which are celebrated with cultural events, competitions, and food.

What’s Navratri? 

Navratri translates to nine nights, and it is the final nine days of Durga Puja. It is either celebrated as Durga Puja or as a celebration of Ram’s victory over the demon king Ravana (another myth for another post). Similarly to Durga’s myth, Ravana had become an immortal demon through his tapas to the god Shiva, who said he could not be killed by any man, animal, or god. He also got ten heads, which regenerated each time one got cut off. The gods sent an incarnation of Vishnu, named Ram, to kill him. Because Ram was neither god nor man, he was able to kill Ravana. Dussera, or Bijoya, was the day which Ram killed him, and it is celebrated by performing Ramlila, or a dramatic retelling of Ram’s exploits, and burning a huge effigy of Ravana. One of the most fun ways to celebrate Navratri is through a garba, or a Gujrati communal dance! 

Thanks for reading, everyone! Feel free to add, ask questions, and request posts! 

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It’s like someone asked “What could make that outfit more festive?” and the only answer Arlen could come up with was “tap shoes”.

ETA: Thank you @runecestershire for making them for me! 🌸

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Last long run before Buffalo! The tendon on the top of my left foot have been bothering me this week, but not badly enough that I can’t run, and a combo of really attractive compression socks and some creative KT tape seems to be helping. It was perfect weather the whole time I was out today, though, and I’m feeling good about this!

getting back to normal

thursday

on the road to new york

7 miles to the park and back through the parkway and the neighborhoods, the legs felt back to normal, almost none of the post-marathon rust.  Been mostly walking the past couple of days, and that seems to have helped with the recovery.  The weather’s been gloomy the past week - in fact most of this spring - cold and wet and dreary, more of the same for this weekend when I’ll be helping out at a half marathon organized by my club, the first one I’m not running in several years.  Will miss running it but was no point in running it so soon after Boston, would have only risked injury…speaking of half marathons, entered the Buffalo Half Marathon on Memorial Day weekend, got a free elite masters entry, one of the nice perks of doing well at a race like Boston, you get a prompt response to a request for elite entry (for which I’m grateful to the Buffalo Marathon committee)…should be enough time between now and then to get into half marathon shape.

I’m pretty proud of this sketch/drawing so I thought I’d share it with y’all. Her name is Boiseng, she’s a mercenary and she’s half water buffalo. (And also around 8ft tall) - 🍁

she’s BIG get me a half buffalo girlfriend so i can ride on her shoulders into battle

-Darastrix

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This race was miraculous. My big goal was a 2:15 finish, which would have been a 4 minute PR for me. Mostly, Heather @littlebean-jellybean and I just wanted to run, talk, and enjoy hanging out for 13 miles.

But then.

All of a sudden by about mile 9, we were just behind the 2:10 pacer. And we stayed there. And stayed there. And even though I was DYING the last two miles, Heather was the peppiest, cheeriest, sweetest person you could ever hope to run with. And the last tenth, we hit it and crossed the finish line so freaking fast and happy. So I finished with a NINE FREAKING MINUTE PR today and I got to meet one of my best online friends (who is now also one of my best real life friends) and even though I almost passed out/puked in the gutter after coffee (I guess sugar and my stomach aren’t great friends after running that far that fast…), I would not trade a single second. Perfect weather, beautiful city, incredible friend. ❤😻🏃🏻‍♀️❤

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‘tigers’ according to FFXI

something about rpg games always have clunky ripped animal models, they’re almost always hideous and this anatomy is so fucked i want to finally want to pick apart one.

there is a ‘subfamily’ that are smilodon but all these tigers have sabreteeth. it should be noted that ‘sabretooth tigers’ are not an actual extinct tiger, ‘smilodon’ was a separate genus of felid with three discovered species.

 this permanent ‘crouch’ posture is terrible for locomotion and would put constant strain on the elbow, it’s like permanently stuck doing a half push up. there is no mechanic for shock absorption unless its got some serious ligaments preventing the elbows from being all wobbly. this cat has fucking biceps, it honestly has human shoulders i cant even tell where its should is supposed to start, it looks half buffalo. 

im so fucking lost.