Choodi Pooja

Choodi Pooja, is observed during Shravan month in Karnataka, and is of great importance to Konkani’s all over. In 2021, Shravan Month in Karnataka begins on August 9 and ends on September 7. Tulsi Plant and Lord Surya are worshipped during Choodi Pooja, which is observed on Fridays and Sundays in Shravana Maasa (month). The main ritual involves exchange of a small bouquet of flowers by married women.

Choodi is derived from the Kannada word ‘Soodi,’ which means a tied bundle. The main ritual involves arrangements of flowers and herbs in a small bundle. Usually a bundle will contain four to five flowers, Darba grass and two or three herbs. A sweet mixture of puffed rice, coconut and jaggery is prepared on the day and offered during puja. Some people prepare Panchakajjaya, a sweet made of five ingredients.

Locally available herbs and flowers are used to prepare the Chudi. Some of the common flowers and herbs used include Ratnagandhi, Shanka Pushpa, Darba Grass, Gauri Pushpa etc. The flowers are arranged with some artistic sense.

First a Tulsi Puja is done. Next is the worship of sun. The freshly prepared Choodi is offered to Tulsi. Next a puja is performed at the entrance of the house and this if followed by a Pooja in the Puja Room. Young women will offer Choodis to elderly women and take blessings. Elderly women will also gift young women with Choodis.

You can also watch the attached video link from our own community members performing Choodi Pooja and explaining the meaning behind why we celebrate choodi pooja.

Reference Links

Adapted from an article written by Abhilash Rajendran  Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Compiled from various sources by Niranjan Kamath

Gen Z – A day in the life of the twins

"A person's a person, no matter the age" - Dr Seuss

Arya and Atreya Panindra (5 years)

Parents- Priyanka Kamath and Panindra Radhakrishnan share with us- ‘A day in the Life of the Twins’:


Arya is an early riser and loves waking us up early on weekends. Atreya however loves snuggling in his baby (aka blanket :)) for a lot longer. Arya hates seeing his brother still sleeping and does everything possible to wake him up. Trying to get in between them – “Is the biggest mistake one could ever make!!”.

After they are out of bed, everything else in their morning routine is a healthy competition of who is ‘First’- accompanied by a lot of chaos and cries and shouts and laughter!! Thankfully we live in a corner unit condo, so we don’t end up waking the neighbors!!

Once they are dressed up, they rush out from the room and -Wait for it… Hug us tight and shower us with good morning kisses!! Oh, how we will miss those once they grow up !! 🙁

After a glass full of milk, they are off to school. Those little byes every morning are painful, but the sparkle in their eyes and innocent smiles make our day!!

Mid-day to dawn:

Once they are back from school, our neat and tidy home is ready for attack!! Every toy, every book is all over the place!! Our dream of a perfect and beautifully setup house is but a distant dream for now!!

At their age, hunger pangs are at it’s peak, and every half hour, we get asked for food. Thanks to the easily accessible world we are in, snack options are vast!! Be it fresh fruits, yogurt, pancakes or cheese sticks – they are easy options to feed the little tummies!!

It is then- a tug of war every evening between Television and outdoor time!! Thankfully both of them mutually agree on their options and we get to enjoy our cups of coffee while watching them enjoy their shows 🙂

Dawn to Bed :

This is the most challenging time of the day, as both of them are super tired!! They insist on eating together, brushing together and sleeping together!! How we wish for an extra pair of arms and legs!! The twins then hit the bed and are off to Dreamland!! The super exhausted parents return to cleaning the super messed-up house!!

While a part of us wishes they grow up quick, a bigger part of us prays that they always stay our small babies forever!! 

The best part about Atreya and Arya is that- They are inseparable!! They cannot stay apart from each other even for a single minute!! If one is offered food, he ensures he fills in a bowl for the other. If one is hurt, the other runs to comfort him!! They are best friends for life and we pray that their bond lasts for eternity!!

Thank you Priyanka and Pani for sharing your daily schedule with us!! We loved every minute of the journey!! We wish them all the very best with everything and hope they have a great fun year ahead!!

We also wish you tons of strength and good luck in this journey!!

About the author…

Neha Mallya is a Chartered Accountant and currently in the unchartered territories of motherhood. In her spare time Neha loves to write…

SaleCanada Inc.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them”....Walt Disney

I have met so many who all have dreams and I am always impressed with the many who have made it come alive. One of them happens to be my own sister Padma (Surya) Kamath. Since childhood she had a dream to start her own business, and as she grew older and acquired all her experiences and qualifications, her determination grew stronger. Over the past 4 years, I have seen her set her vision in motion and couldn’t be more proud as she partnered with a friend to realize her dream: SaleCanada Inc.

This flagship company, SaleCanada Inc. is a Canadian eCommerce and Wholesale-Dropshipping company that sells a wide range of New and Refurbished Electronics, Televisions, Small Home appliances, Computer Hardware, Designer fragrances, Health & Personal Care among others. The company is located in Hamilton, Ontario.  I encourage you to explore their website for awesome deals you may have been in search of.

SaleCanada Inc. has been in business for about 3 years now. In a short time, they have managed to provide a wide range of services and products in both wholesale and retail environment, besides being a distributor for various product lines. I have attempted to capture a bird’s eye view of their various divisions.

  1. Online eCommerce: With over $3M worth of inventory, SaleCanada is active on 15 marketplaces including Amazon, Best Buy, e-Bay, Walmart etc. You will find a wide breadth of products from small appliances to health and beauty products, TVs, Electronics, and Home and Décor items to name a few. They are poised to triple their inventory to over $10M in the next 2 to 5 years.
  • Wholesale: As wholesalers, SaleCanada has a vast network of buyers & sellers in North America and across the globe providing access to highly competitive pricing for their products. Their innovative formula of supporting B2B has attracted many small businesses to partner with them.
  • Services: Besides providing Drop Shipping services, SaleCanada also manages online marketplaces for their clients along with Trademark registration, Logo Design, to name a few.

In addition, Padma’s passion and determination to have her own identity in the marketplace has led to the creation of 2 unique brands NAavya and NAAV.

NAavya – Brand takes pride in marketing handmade product offerings from artisans across the globe who have kept their designs for generations within their families, often in danger of being lost. Their product offerings include items such as silk clutches, bags in fashion accessories, festival product items, cushion covers, runners, bedspreads in the home décor category. NAavya believes in supporting these artisan women and their creations with the goal of making these women self reliant. A percentage of the proceeds from their sales is set aside to support like charities.  You can always learn more about NAavya brand by visiting their website

NAAV Furniture and Décor:  Handcrafted Canadian wood products that are sourced from Canadian wood are marketed under this brand.

As an ecommerce entrepreneur, Padma believes in helping others achieve their dream of starting their own businesses. She and SaleCanada welcome those who are interested, to contact her to help realize their dreams.

About the author…
Surekha Shenoy is a Strategic Business Consultant and has worked with SMBs across North America for over 20 years. She is deeply passionate about supporting small businesses. In her free time, she loves to study the stars…

When less is more

“Laughing at your mistakes can lengthen your life” 
- Shakespeare

On more than a few occasions our amchigelomam has driven me around Toronto and gotten lost in the maze of traffic Even with GPS. “Trust your grey matter more than GPS ”that is my mantra, boasts amchigelomam. It happened again to our mam trying to maneuver for a parking spot at a Blue Jays game. amchigelomam explained, kasal karache, I am not alone – a man not wanting to ask for directions.“Call it manhood, trust your instinct, high testosterone, or men are from Mars and women are
from Venus…

The same holds true for amchigelomam while going grocery shopping. “I do not need to write down five things, it is all in my head.” This is exactly what   amchigelomam said to his loving wife  as he headed to the store. But then, once in the supermarket, there he was standing in front of a 20-foot long yogurt section. Staring at all the white stuff. So much to choose from, no wonder his mind went blank. All he could remember was Dahi. What brand? What size? What kind?. Lost in thoughts.

Amchigelomam wondered if he was being indecisive or is there simply too much choice these days to make his mind go blank. All these tubs of yogurt make your head spin. Should I pick Astro, Liberty, Danone, President’s choice? Should I pick up the 5%, 3%, 2% or zero fat; high protein, Greek style, Organic, light, creamy, soya, lactose….And this is before even getting to all the flavours or sizes. Of course, there is an option of calling home, but that would be admitting defeat. That is not in
amchigelomam’s  dictionary.

Amchigelomam reached out for a container with a bold caption “ take me home you will love it”. Once home, just a look in his wife’s  loving  eyes told the story of having picked the wrong item and wrong size. Never mind a  certain lecture from mai, for missing out on sale items. Amchigelomam wondered how  did the supermarket put a googly in his eyes, when all he wanted was a simple plain Dahi. A typical major supermarket chain carries 50,000 over different items. It is not just the yogurt that has gotten out of hand. Entire  isles are dedicated to just breakfast cereals or cookies or soups just to name a few. With hair colours,  I bet there are at least 10 different shades of Brown alone.

Supermarkets offer a great quantitative choice but not a qualitative choice. The longer they can grab your attention with time, the more likely it is you will spend more. Next time you are at the supermarket, take a look for yourself. On the surface in any given category each
product available appears different. Yet when you take a closer look, they are surprisingly similar behind a wall of clever marketing. Confused while shopping, amchigelomam is not alone. For example, compare Shreddies, Shredded wheat, honey coated shreddies, and wheatabix. At a quick glance, all have different boxes, but looking closely at their ingredients they are all similar – mostly wheat, sugar and additives. 

Every season, clever marketers design a new box and then distribute coupons to entice you to break old habits and try their “new” product, at possibly a higher price. . Line extensions are what they are rather than innovations. Call it “retail choice overload”.

One way to not get duped by marketers is to compare products in a nerdy way. Analysing the sizes and doing mental math to figure out the price per 100 grams.  Am I out for an enjoyable shopping experience
or for mental  math practice?  Marketers know that most of us are not mathletes, and this is why it is so easy for them to always stay a step ahead of us consumers. 

This is also one reason farmer’s markets have taken off in recent years. Most shoppers want a curated experience and quality over quantity. I agree, less is more. To verify the concept of “ less is more”, I looked at the stock prices . Below are the stock prices for Costco, with their business model of limited choice, compared to major Canadian supermarkets offering unlimited choice. Financial markets, like shoppers, have also voted with their dollars that less is more. (in full disclosure I do not hold any stock of Costco in my investments).

                  May 2011          May 2021       
 Costco           82                    378                     
 Loblaws         35                     74         
 Metro           57.42            58.76.  
 Sobeys         17.55              32.51
Just goes to show more is not necessarily better. That evening at dinner time, amchigelomam admitted to his better half, that choosing between different yogurts was not easy, and I made a mistake but choosing my life partner was easy, and I have made a perfect choice,  mai just rolled her eyes and said “thataastu!”

Here is a quiz from amchigelomam:
World price of pure Saffron is about 10 dollars a gram, how come locally you can get a Saffron for about a dollar a gram?

About the author…
Madhav Shanbhag holds a Ph.D in biochemistry. In his retirement, he enjoys encouraging budding entrepreneurs and imparting the wisdom of our rich culture…

Ever wonder about dry eye?

Dry eye is a chronic condition of the eyes which causes inflammation and discomfort. It occurs due to loss of stability of the tear film.

The various causes of dry eyes include but are not limited to-

  • Deficiency of the lacrimal glands
  • Certain medications such as high blood pressure medications, antidepressants, birth control pills, etc.
  • Certain medical conditions such as Sjrogren’s Syndrome, diabetes, thyroid disease etc.
  • Meibomian gland deficiency. The meibomian gland produces the lipid or oil component of the tear film. Deficiency of this gland causes the tear film to evaporate faster.
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Contact lens wear
  • Low blink rate, especially with prolonged screen time.

Early signs of dry eyes may be a dry scratchy sensation in the eyes, a sandy feeling or a foreign body sensation. There may be burning, itching and tiredness and watering of the eyes.

If you wear contact lenses, pay attention to proper cleaning and wearing techniques.

Try the 20-20-20 technique if you need to use the computer a lot. Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to look at an object 20 feet away. Remember to blink regularly.

Avoid cigarette smoke, and other smoke filled rooms as this can make dry eyes worse. A humidifier in the room can give relief from dry eye discomfort especially during the winter months.

Mild symptoms of dry eyes may be treated with over the counter natural tear drops.

If you need to use eye drops frequently through the day, preservative free products are recommended. Eye drops with higher viscosity provide relief for a longer duration. However they may cause blurring of vision when instilled and may be appropriate for bedtime use.

There are various eye exercises which help improve and maintain eye health.

Various eye drops and oral medications are available by prescription as treatment for dry eyes.

The following symptoms may need prompt medical attention from an eye care specialist-

  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision or other visual changes
  • Physical or chemical injury
  • If you wear contact lenses and develop dry eyes
  • Foreign object in eye
  • If you are diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and develop dry eyes

About the author…
Veena Shanbhag is a practicing pharmacist and owner of Streetsville Shoppers Drugmart. In her spare time Veena loves to teach yoga….

Gen Z

"A person's a person, no matter the age" - Dr Seuss

Arjun (7) and Rohan (3) were both born in North Carolina and moved to Canada with their parents 2.5 years ago. Both the kids acclimated well to their new life in Regina, Saskatchewan by enjoying the gorgeous prairie summers and bracing the cold winters.

Arjun and Rohan now live in Vaughan, Ontario. Arjun is very outgoing and makes new friends quickly. He also enjoys solving his math problems and probably is the most vocal voice in his classroom, regardless of online or in person learning.

Rohan is quite different from Arjun. Rohan tends to be shy and an introvert, but he is a troublemaker! He loves music and art !! He recognizes patterns and structures easily and recited numbers and alphabets way early for his age.

Both the kids love the outdoors! They love the sun and playing in the sand (of course). They can’t wait to meet other children in the OKA group and make new friends !!

We wish you all the very best with everything and hope you have a great year ahead !!

About the author…

Neha Mallya is a Chartered Accountant and currently in the unchartered territories of motherhood. In her spare time Neha loves to write…

Learning Avenues

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young"...Henry Ford

TECHNICAL WORKSHOPS FOR SENIORS: Ria Koppikar, grade 11 student from Minneapolis ALONG WITH Aditya Pai and Ananya ai of Ontario have developed unique series of virtual workshops to help seniors become confident and comfortable in handling modern communication technology. These workshops will be sponsored and promoted by Ontario Konkani Association, Canada and Super Tech Savvy Seniors, U.S.A. in collaboration with Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation, Canada, Chitrapur Heritage Foundation, U.S.A. and Saraswat Foundation, U.S.A.

The next session on Sunday, August 8, 2021 will cover everything about phones including smartphones, iPhones, iPads, texting, google maps, as well as social media such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Facetime, Tweeters etc. Details will be shared at a later date.

Future sessions on dates to be determined will cover other devices and systems. Suggestions may be emailed to Ria at

In addition to these sessions, Ria is also planning to set up groups of teens to provide one-on-one technology support to seniors across North America. Anyone needing assistance may send an email to Ria. Any teenagers who are interested in actively participating in this project may also contact Ria.

DIABETES CANADA PEER CONNECT PROGRAM: Register for the Type 1 or Type 2 Peer Connect Series to enjoy four virtual evenings of peer support and education. We attended the first session in the Type 2 series on April 28 and found it not only informative but also very entertaining. Each series will feature topics and presentations aimed towards the uniqueness of the type 1 or type 2 diabetes community. Each session will be themed around a specific topic and provide an opportunity to hear from knowledgeable speakers, connect with a panel of experts, and provide an opportunity to discuss with peers in breakout discussions.

If you are an individual affected by diabetes, family member or caregiver, this series is for you. Just grab your laptop, tablet or even your phone, and take part in this amazing networking and learning opportunity.

Peer Connect – Type 2 Series

  • Session 3 – Blood Glucose Monitoring
    Wednesday, August 25, 2021; 7:00 – 8:50PM, EDT. Speakers: TBD
  • Session 4 – Mental Health
    Wednesday, October 27; 7:00 – 8:50PM, EDT. Speakers: TBD

Peer Connect – Type 1 Series

  • Session 3 – Blood Glucose Monitoring
    Thursday, August 26, 2021; 7:00 – 8:50 PM, EDT. Speakers: TBD
  • Session 4 – Mental Health
    Thursday, October 28, 2021; 7:00 – 8:50PM, EDT. Speakers: TBD

For more information, visit  event page or contact

About the Author
Sadanand Mankikar is the Past President (2004-2005) of the Ontario Konkani association and has been instrumental in the initiation and maintenance of the OKA Seniors Forum.

Gokarna Math Swamiji

Shree Samsthan Gokarna Partagali Jeevottam math is one of the three religious orders of the Gowd Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) community (the other two being Shree Kaivalya Math and Shree Kashi Math). HH Srimad Vidhyadiraja Theertha Swamiji  was the 23rd Swamiji at  the Gokarn Math lineage which is said to have been founded in 1475 AD and has a history of 546 years.

Srimad Vidyadhiraja Teertha Swamiji was born on August 3, 1945, at Gangoli, in Udupi district. His birth name was Raghavendra Acharya. He was given Sanyas Deeksha on February 26, 1967, at Shri Ram Mandir Wadala, Mumbai by his guru and predecessor, Shrimad Dwarakanath Teertha Swamiji. He succeeded as the head of the math following the demise of his guru on April 5, 1973, and thereafter tirelessly working for the spiritual upliftment of the followers, the prime duty cast on the maths. Under his leadership, numerous old temples and math branches were renovated and rebuilt. He is also credited with reviving the ancient modes of worship like yagas and yajnas and undertaking pilgrimages to holy places, including the remote part of the Himalayas. He has also headed the numerous charitable and educational endeavours of the math.

In Feb 2017 Swamiji anointed Sri Uday Bhat Sharma as his Shisya and successor, giving him the name Shri Vidhyadheesh Theertha.

Many of us may have had several interactions with our Pujiya Swami ji. I know I did when I was very small I was blessed by Swamiji at the Dwarkanatha Bhavan in Wadala after my Munji. He advised me to worship my parents and never to let them down. I will forever cherish those words.

Now H. H Srimad Vidyadhish Theerth Swamiji  will carry the Guru Shisya Parampara a tradition that dates back to when the Gokarn Math was started.

Given below are some of the precious video links to Swamiji’s pravachan on the History of Gokarn Math in his own blessed voice.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Reference Links

Cover photo credits

Gokarn Math Wikipedia

Compiled from various sources by Niranjan Kamath