Hindu Festival

Durga Puja Tales

Like every year, Maa Durga arrived on her special ride, stayed with us for those auspicious ten days and then departed, leaving us craving for yet another year of her homecoming again. Before leaving, she blessed us with health, happiness, food and loads of memories. For me, Durga Puja has always been a reminder that happiness find its way home. The rejuvenating and scintillating feeling of loved ones reuniting and celebrating the festival together has a charm of its’ own. Durga Puja means we are still alive, still together and still bonded.

The blazing LED lights, thousands of people dressed so elegantly in new stiff clothes hovering over the pandals and the different food vendors outside, chit-chatting excitedly and happily like the sparrows; makes me believe that if happiness is somewhere, it is right here, right here in this moment, the moment I am living right now!

Durga Puja is nostalgic. The essence of the festival, the holy atmosphere and all around happy faces brings solace, peace and the calmness to the tired souls. The feeling of being alive and not just breathing is divine. Every happy soul looks beautiful. It makes me believe that beauty still exists in people’s smile, a hearty laughter and in the glistening of tired eyes.

Being raised in a joint family, the arrival of Durga Puja meant new clothes, loads and loads of delicious festive foods, guests swarming over, hot discussions on which block’s (colony’s) pandal is the best, places (vendors) who are serving the best puchkas, chowmins, ghugni-chaats and other street delicacies. Loads of different shape and size balloons made a way in our home. The sheer excitement of holidays, friends, food, pandal visits and Maa Durga! Touching the feet of elders and getting a ten rupees new note along with their blessings. We often wondered seeing that note what all can be bought with that. Might be a whole dreamy world?

One of the other things which I remember and use to get really pepped up seeing was married woman wearing loads of bright red color sindoor on their neatly parted just washed hair, the sankha-pola and dozens of matching glass bangles, the bright colored neatly plated sarees and the alta painted feet. There is something really special about seeing ladies all dressed up like this. This is the only form I can fathom of my Maa whenever I think of her. The serenity, the poise, the calmness and the charming characters which she possesses, I wonder if I can ever be like her?

Every day of the puja is marked with a special food. Like Saptami having ghugni-chaat with lots of aalu chop and beguni. Astmi has to have poori, aalu dum, kheer, tomato-imli chutney, matar pulao and papad. Navmi can’t be complete without plain rice or tehri, mutton curry, thick homemade curd, salads and loads of mithai. Oh! The heavenly food!

Durga Puja, ghughni chaat, aalu chop, hindu festival, Maa Durga, besan k laddoo, nostalgia, memories, love, foodBalakrishnan K

This year, while talking to Maa over phone, she did mention making these at home. She even subtly told me that she can not feel the same old charm, the excitement and the happiness of Puja anymore. I know the rapid downfall of joint families and kids migrating to different cities for different reasons leaving back their old aging parents, play a major role in them feeling lonely. I know that the four old eyes wanted me to be there, badly. I just hope that I will be able to fulfill their wish next year and make their souls blossom like old times again 🙂

Durga Puja, ghughni chaat, aalu chop, hindu festival, Maa Durga, besan k laddoo, nostalgia, memories, love, foodBalakrishnan K

Over the years, things have changed drastically. But I guess, the bottom line is the same. Be happy, celebrate happiness, eat, pray and love. Waiting for the next Durga Puja already. I hope everyone feels as blessed and happy or more as I feel today.


HAPPY DUSSHERA READERS!

HAPPY HOLI FOLKS :)

May this holi bring lots of colors in your life and wash away all the sadness, misery and evil thoughts. May you be able to accept that we are all equal. May our mind know only one word – freedom, and only one cause – love

HAPPY HOLI…!

 

 

— Happy Holi :)

Happy Deepavali and Yummy Food Memoirs :)

Happy Diwali everyone!! Ahem, as the world knows, I am such a busy-Indian-lady and that gives me an excuse to wish everyone a day later 😉 The endless rituals which comes along with these festivals have kept me busy like a bee. But that doesn’t scare me and I love following all these customs and rituals. Following them makes me feel connected to my roots, I feel lots happier, content and enlightened. These festivals bring so much love, joy, peace and warmth in the family that even the slogging seems worth it! Isn’t it? 🙂

This year me and my husband couldn’t go to celebrate Diwali at home and he was very sad about it. Dear husband would be missing the yummy snacks and food my mother-in-law prepares on the festivals. Neverthless, I prepared my own set of food and tried to make him happy, the good wife as I am 🙂

Happy Diwali

All, the kneading, whipping, chopping, sweating, excitement and hours of my super hard work in the kitchen, came out in the form of happiness and loads of tasty food!! Thank God, I could erase some of the saddness from hubby’s face. Yummy food can do real wonders in a man’s life. Isn’t there a saying that the path to a man’s heart goes through his stomach… I know now what that means 😉

Our Deepavali was great. How was yours? I hope you too had a safe and happy Deepavali 🙂 🙂

Happy Holi Folks :)

Gulaal ka rang laal hai..
Gujiya ki mithaas bemisaal hai..
Sab geele hain pyaar ke paani mein..
Sab ghule hain Holi ki ravaani mein..
Rangon ke tyohar me sabhi rangon ki ho bharmar..
Dher saari khushiyo se bhara ho aapka sansar..
Sunhari dhoop barsaat ke baad..
Thodi si hassi har baat ke baad..
Usi tarah ho mubahrak aapko ye nayi subah..
Yahi dua hai bhagwan se humari har baar..
Rangon ki bahaar hai..
Sab mein jhalakta pyaar hai..
Sab jhoom naacho gaao aaj “Holi” ka tyohaar hai..
Makki ki roti, Nimbu ka aachar,
Suraj ki kirne, Khushiyo ki bahar,
Chand ki chandi, Apno ka pyar,
Mubarak ho aapko, HOLI ka tyohar!!

“आप सभी को होली की ढेर सारी शुभकामनाएं….”

Happy Holi Folks :)
Photo courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

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