Souvenir of the Year: automatic mantra-chanter

Last year, my souvenir of the year was a beautiful batik picture I bought at the Sultan’s palace in Jogjakarta, Indonesia.

This year, I was given a lovely model ship from Stikom, Surabaya when I returned to Indonesia, and the gift of a wonderful day out from John Foliot when I visited San Jose for OSCON.

But souvenir of the year has to be something I purchased myself, and this year I bought it in a market at Dasaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India. It cost 120 Rupees (about £2) and it’s an automatic mantra chanter.

When plugged in, the portrait of the Shiva, Parvati and Ganesh is bejewelled with flashing lights while and a recorded voice sings a devotional chant. Pressing the button changes the chant; there are twenty different songs.

You may experience its glory through the power of YouTube.

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