Wish you all a happy Pongal and Sankranti. As I am writing this, news has come out that the Supreme Court has lifted the ban on Jallikattu (Phew that was close). I shudder to think how folks from my native town would have reacted if the ban had stayed. Jallikattu reminds me of the rare occasions we celebrated Pongal at my maternal grandmother’s village. The village falls on the wrong side of Vaigai river and cannot benefit from the river water. As is the case with most Indian villages, the harvest mainly depends on the mercy of the monsoons. And we all know how our dear old monsoons behave.
The village folks rarely celebrated Pongal as there was little to harvest and very little to celebrate about. When the monsoons are well behaved, the harvest is bountiful and Pongal is celebrated with such gusto that, town folks like me wonder why our parents left the village. The huts and houses are white washed, the cows decorated with colourful dots on their body and vibrant colours painted on their horns - the atmosphere is electric. There is something in the air which brings joy by merely inhaling it. I am missing all that this very moment and to a certain extent depressed (too harsh a word, I know) that my children cannot experience it.
I do try hard to bring in the spirit at home. Although my younger troops don’t agree with the Naragasuran version of the Deepavali story (they go with the ‘Rama coming from forest’ version), bringing in the Deepavali spirit is much easier. Help comes in the form of schools discussing the ‘Hindu’ festival. When it comes to Pongal it is hard, but I keep trying. It doesn’t hurt to taste some yummy Pongal and other delicacies in the process. Pongalo Pongal !!!!!!!