So, my love for Rangolis and Hindu traditions takes me to this Divine nest of Dr.Kasturi Bhai Venkataraman Pillai of my Pakkatu Ooru, Malaysia.
👆 This is the very picture I clicked on, from this vibrantly beautiful and devotional Instagram handle kasturi_venkat. Of course, all the Hindu symbols in Kolam attracted me to her profile, but what made me decide to come back for more was the detailed explanation that described the simple Kolam. I love to read/ hear stories from Purans and folklore and I was super happy to read all of those when I stumbled upon these divine Kolams by Kasturi. It is extremely difficult to pick a few favorites from such a vast collection of absolutely stunning Kolams. Nonetheless, Sharing a few of my favorites!
I have always used dry Rangoli powder for making Rangolis. I am aware of making Rangolis with a cloth dipped in the wet Rangoli mix. But was fascinated to see Kasturi use her index finger dipped in wet Kolam mix to draw such intricate, beautiful patterns. I feel this technique of hers gives an enhanced and unique quality to Kolams, where the bright white lines of rice mauvu are juxtaposed with the Kavi powder (Red Ochre powder/ Geruva in Hindi). And Ahh! What to say about the Lakshmi Paadam that features in many of her kolam pictures. Blessed is the abode which has the footprints of such a devote Gruhalakshmi!
Impressed by Kasturi’s immaculate and intricate Kolams, she was invited by the vizhuthugal program by the ASTRO TV team. Here is the link to the small snippets of the shoot.#kolampazhaguvom. After living in Bengaluru and Singapore, I have picked up some colloquial Tamil words and can follow the contextual meaning of the spoken word. But this language barrier seems insignificant when one is in love with kolams and Hindu traditions.
It is not just the Kolam pictures and their elaborate insightful captions that have made me fall in love with this Instagram handle. While Kasturi’s passion and precision are so very evident, her daily posts tell us about her devotion, determination. One can see her innocent Saatvik Bhakti (Pure devotion) for her Parabhraman.
It’s a sheer delight to see the pictures of all the Divine Pujas performed on different festivals at Kasturi’s home. Her glistening clean Pooja Mandir (room/altar) is always brimming with positive energy. Straightaway relaying the glow and warmth of Deepam’s Jyothi, the heavenly fragrance of the slow whirling vortex of incense sticks. Her Instagram stories are replete with harmonious sounds of Harathis/Aarthis, reverberate with the powerful Shloka/ Mantra chants, which inspire and energize me all the time. And what to say about her beloved Gods adorned by colorful flowers, happily enjoying all the love and affection of this ardent devotee…heavenly bliss!
Kasturi’s zeal to inculcate traditional customs and values in her sons at the right age is very inspiring. It’s so adorable to see our two Kutti Kannas chant all the shlokas in praise of the Lord Muruga on Skanda Shashti.
I have also immensely enjoyed Kasturi’s Chennai Chronicles. These Instagram posts of pilgrimage to different temples of Tamil Nadu show her earnest devotion for the almighty.
The Maharashtrian in me was eager to seek the comfort of familiarity when I saw “Bhai” in Kasturi’s full name. Haha.. Because, Bai is extensively used in Maharashtra, like Jija Bai, Mukta Bai…And, I immediately wrote a message to dear Kasturi, enquiring about the same. Kasturi said she was named after Kasturba, Mahatma Gandhi’s wife, by her father. My admiration for this cool Kolammer increased many folds, to see her at the forefront of the war against COVID -19.
And amidst all this, she will tempt you with her delicious Malaysian Sapaadu Tattu.
Sitting here in Singapore, I could exactly understand when the caption says..”On Cloud Nine!”. It is as if, I was there with her at that moment. I could feel Kasturi’s contemplative thoughts, when she captured that magical moment, as the calm and serene night is about to break into beautiful dawn, full of promise and hope. Truly, happiness and contentment are a state of mind and seldom dependent on the expensive flooring or the gold plated fixtures of the home. Yes, The best things in life aren’t things!
For me, it is a matter of great pride to know a third-generation Malaysian of Indian origin adhering to all the Hindu traditions with so much devotion and serving the society as a dedicated Doctor. An ideal role model for Bhakti and Karma Marga Sadhika draped in a beautiful Kanjivaram saree!
Have a look at her awesome Kolams here
Kalyani Sreedhar Kakade
All images and video clips published in this blog belong to Kasturi Venkat and may not be replicated or reproduced without prior permission.
Text Copyrights: This अद्भुत Life!