Archive for the 'Video' Category

Arthur Mandelbaum – A Life in Buddhism.

Terris Temple ( ) recorded Arthur Mandelbaum (2016) in Thailand. This is a moving account of a lifelong journey into Tibetan Buddhism:

Arthur Mandelbaum - A Life in Buddhism.

A tour de force. Arthur covers his life in Buddhism, from arriving in India (1965), via The Sanskrit University (Varanasi 1965/1968) to his later work in NYC with Geshe Jamspal, translating Tibetan & Sanskrit texts. For thirty years he taught English in the New York public school system. Arthur died in NYC, 2016.

Jay, Turina & Arthur.

Arthur wrote: I believe that was ’66. I was taking the Sanskrit Pramana Patriya course of studies and the Tibetan Diploma with Lama Jamspal. Where did that suit come from though?




The Friendliness of Orchha.

“A fable is a story, often about animals, that points out some aspect of human behaviour and often has a moral attached to it.”

Some children of Ganj mohalla (a village near Orchha) perform an old fable, “The Tiger, The Brahmin & the Jackal” in the courtyard of a village house.

This was organised by Asha D’ Souza (founder of Friends of Orchha) & Erika Trikon (a long-stay visitor). None of the children had performed in a play before, a great experience for them.

Until this generation, few of the boys & none of the girls ever went to school; the village was functionally illiterate & although many of the children now go to school, part of the reason for staging the play was to improve their literacy.

None of the kids had ever performed before, but they took to it like ducks to water & although often protesting & not paying attention, after practise they became competent & even inspired; loving the dressing-up, they also particularly enjoyed wearing the animal masks.

Update May 27th 2013: I received the sad news that Anu (Neetu’s Mother) died tragically last December; this is a bad blow & very sad; I remember her as the still strong centre of that family, the family home where the play above was performed.

Here is a photo of Anu, Chotu & Vishal & may she rest in peace!

Anu, Chotu & Vishal

I really hope the family can carry on & that the wonderful home-stays will continue!

Maya School, Ganj.In other sad news, the Maya school has closed, apparently due to financial problems that should not have been problems!

Many of the Ganj children went there; it is (was) a free school, providing transport to & from the school, uniforms & materials as well as teaching & a full lunch!

Maya School morning meeting.


Founded by Eeva Schultz for the children of the locality who were not able to go to school. I thought it was an excellent little school & I sincerely hope it can somehow be restarted.


Fable Audience a small album of the children going to ‘the play’!

Orchha Photo Albums three albums, including the 700+ photos of the village people & places by Erika Tricon; a terrific record of  three months in a year of village life.

Friends of Orchha where you go to book a home-stay in Orchha.

Video Page another presentation of the video with additional information on the fable with English & Hindi translations & links.


Ramen Bhattacharyya – Memorial.

evening memorial to Shri Ramen Bhattacharrya, father of Bhaskar & Ranjan.

At the end, I wished I had known him better.

This was held at Hampstead Town Hall, evening of 11th May 2013. Was jolly well attended. There were moving tributes to Ramen, there was fine music too.

Obituary Camden New Journal May 2013.


Success at Jogini Falls.

Villagers of Vashisht are happy & relieved today. The Himachal Pradesh Government made the decision at Cabinet Level to cancel entirely the proposed 1MW hydro project at Jogini Falls. Celebrations are being held in honour of the Goddess (Jogini Devi “Ma Mai”). More when details become available:[wpvideo wnnJhWHd w=”640″] jogini fallsan article in the flower raj encyclopaedia on the goddess, the people & the place; with photos & videos & links to other sites.

“The Jogini waterfalls are basically the sacred bathing place for “Joginis” who are believed to be the unwed daughters of Lord Indra. It is on the first of Baisakh that the locals bring their children for their first tonsure here above the Bashisht village”.

“The Jogini waterfall is near Vashisht village. Every day a large number of domestic and foreign tourists visit it and the Jogini temple. The villagers from the valley visit and perform their rites at the temple and till date follow the custom of serving food in plates made of stone”.


Eating Air in India Video – Robin Brown

“The book Eating Air in India is an eclectic compendium of genuine insiders’ knowledge. It has travel, history, spirituality, lust, motorbikes, religion, philosophy, dope, hippy anecdotes, literary references and humour aplenty.”

The Flower Raj presents a video of Robin Brown, a pilot episode for a proposed series based on his book. Robin has lived in India for decades since the 1960s & has both travelled widely & read wisely about India.

Mike Russell-Hills filmed & edited this, a lower resolution version is available on his site & he can be contacted there.

nota bene: as an introductory ‘pitch’ pilot video, this only gives a taste of Robin,  in person  he talks most engagingly about people, places & subjects dear to him and of which most travellers will not even have heard of. Hence I hope to interview him talking and publish the dialogues as audio podcasts on The Flower Raj Blog, If all goes as planned I’ll be engaging with him in Goa this winter (2012).

The Flower Raj will also assist Robin Brown in bringing out “Eating Air…” as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.


Remembering Bhaskar Bhattacharya.

Margo Sagov video interview: Oral history – 33 minutes. Memories of Bhaskar particularly relating to his wedding with Rohini in 1988, which took place over several weeks in mountainous locations in Northern India, to wit the Himalayas. The extended group gathered at hotels in Manali; Baul musicians from Bengal; Bhaskars’ parents & brother over from UK; as also many of Bhaskars’ Western friends. Margo recorded the sounds of the wedding itself and of Vashisht at festival time & the fair in Kullu Town, besides the actual wedding music, wandering with her Walkman professional & a camera.

Himachal Music 1988 – a playlist of music by Baul musicians, sounds from the Vashisht Mela & the Kullu Town Fair, and, at the actual wedding, Rajasthani Shehnai & drums, Rohini’s female Kashmiri relatives, Bauls, The Mighty Tigers military wedding band & more Bauls. Hypnotic, entrancing.

Wedding Month – photo coverage Himachal 1988. Relatives, wedding guests, musicians, views of Vashisht Mela.

(all material on the wedding trip courtesy Margo Sagov, who also digitised the original cassette tapes & ftpd & sleuthed assiduously).

Bhaskar Encyclopaedia Page – The Flower Raj Wiki, with links to work info & obituaries.

Bhaskar Photo Album – The Flower Raj Photos (we need more).